Sedona locals are in for a treat: In a post-Halloween miracle, Harry Houdini and Edgar Allen Poe will come back from the dead for an exclusive performance at the Mary D. Fisher Theatre.
That is, there is one man who hopes his performances will bring them back to life. Los Angeles-based actor Duffy Hudson has been doing one-man shows for the last 20 years that have featured historical figures like Edgar Allen Poe, Audie Murphy, George Burns and even Albert Einstein.
He created these one-man shows as a business so he always has a job, he said. As a child, Hudson’s father would read “The Raven” by Poe to him before bed. It’s memories like that, he said, that left an imprint on him.
“I try to integrate Poe’s literature, George Burns’ comedy, Houdini’s magic and Audie Murphy’s war stories into these shows,” Hudson said. “There’s a kind of haunting with these characters that has really stuck with me.”
A Cincinnati native, Hudson has wanted to be a performer since he was a little kid, but there weren’t too many outlets for it. Now, he does performances around the country as these figures from the past and integrates their life stories along with their inner zeitgeists.
Hudson said he tries to integrate educational elements into his performances but stresses that education is merely a byproduct of what he does.
“I shy away from describing what I do as educational only because I’m a performer,” he said. “It’s theatrical; other performers who do this sort of thing have a background in education. I won’t sacrifice performance or characterization for education.”
With the Houdini show, Hudson said he’s trying to tell a biographical story, but it is all is done within the context of a Houdini’s story. He includes magic in his performance, as well
The character’s point of view is an element Hudson said he tries to focus on when portraying them.
“It’s all about who am I talking to and why am I talking to them,” he said. This year will be his second time coming to Sedona, and he’ll return again in December to do “A Christmas Carol.”
He said he loves the Mary D. Fisher Theatre as a venue.
“It’s a great space and has a very theatrical feel to it,” he said. “I do a lot of benefits and they’re basically just reception halls, there’s nothing theatrical about them. Theaters are what it’s all about.”
Duffy Hudson Live
Where: Goldenstein Stage at the Mary D. Fisher Theatre
Houdini: His Life, His Magic Wednesday, Nov. 1 at 7 p.m.
Edgar Allen Poe: The Shadow of the Raven, Thursday, Nov. 2 at 4 p.m.