Yes, I've read about it. It looks good! I'm sorry to say I've never been to New York, and I certainly can't afford those tickets.
Last night I saw a rather avant garde adaptation of Herman Hesse's Steppenwolf. The audience was seated in a room, facing a bank of curtains, with the stage behind us. Slooooowly the curtain slid up, and we were facing a wall of mirrors. And I mean slowly, it took 10 minutes for the curtain to travel about 6 feet. They shone lights in our eyes, there were a lot of people walking around carrying laptops on stage, some guy was in a tv screen reading from the novel, there was a plastic house that slowly rotated. Lots of seemingly random sound and light cues. Anyway, created by good friends of mine and I love them, but it was rather a hot mess.
I went to see " The Bouncers " by Godber last week. Great night out - lewd, crude, hilarious with just the right amount of pathos. Not sure how much international appeal it would have ( how many of you have danced around your handbags ?) but for a northerner (English) who was an adolescent at the time the play was set it was just fab.
The annual Tennessee Williams Festival is upon us this month. Many wonderful productions all culminating in a final" STELLA" screaming contest in Jackson Square which is always a hoot.
In the past I have attended almost all of the events but, in years past pared down due to the expense. I am however, going to see a production of Suddenly Last Summer with a friend of mine. I know the director, Aimee Hayes, she is quite talented and much revered in the theater community for her dedication and generosity. I also happen to love this particular script as it take place in New Orleans and I know Aimee will do a brilliant job.
Shucks Lola... Hopefully you will find some other good theatre while there.
Williams lived here in New Orleans for a long period of time and while here wrote many of his classic works. This annual festival has grown quite a bit over the years and attracted a number of fine actors. One year I got to see Elizabeth Ashley perform in Cat On A Hot Tin Roof and later she participated in a panel discussion about Mr. Williams work. I only wish I had more money to attend more of these events.
So, we went to see Suddenly Last Summer yesterday. It was very well done. 90 minutes with no intermission, it kept me rapt. I tried to not have the mindset of comparing it to the movie but, in the case of the gentleman who played the doctor, it was difficult as he in my mind was miscast, and that was disappointing. There was absolutely no chemistry or underlying sexual tension that I think Williams intended there to be. Perhaps, it was the directors intention for this to play out this way. It was difficult to say. My friend had not ever seen the movie so it was interesting to discuss this with her. She thought that the doctor's role was meant to be downplayed and it worked for her. So, I guess I let Montgomery Clift and Elizabeth Taylor's performances creep into my psyche somewhere along the line.
Well, it's interesting that I had that perception of the interplay between those two characters. I had coffee this morning with another friend who had seen a production of this same play in NYC in 2005 or so with Blythe Danner in the role of the Aunt Vi (Katherine Hepburn played this role in the movie). I asked her if she had the same perception as I. She said most definitely and that was one of William's hallmarks in a lot of his works. (e.g. the sexual tension between Stanley and Blanche in Streetcar etc.)
Does circus count? Last night we went to Circus Flora, circusflora.org the European style single-ring circus based here in St. Louis. I don't go every single year or the 29 they've been doing it, but when I do I'm always delighted.
This year one of my favorites was Duo Tux, a modern dance/tumbling pair.
and Quatuor Bounce, a trampoline/wall group of four who were just a riot.
My friend Jessica Hentoff's Arches are always great. Two of her former students went from difficult city backgrounds to France this month with les 7 doigts de la main. I wish we could buzz down to Lyon to see this. I'm tempted.
One of my daughters' best friends is now a Wallenda, and walked the wire with them last night. My favorite part is when she climbs down the ladder.
Ohhhhh! I loved seeing the Duo Tux clip, Lola. Such interesting choreography. I bet it's even more fun watching people you know perform. I imagine you're holding your breath through much of her high wire walk.
Tonight we went to see the award winning The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time at the Gielgud Theatre and absolutely loved everything about it. The story, acting, and staging were all spectacular!
My daughter and I saw a play in London, too: The Beaux' Strategem at the National Theatre. We both enjoyed it a lot. We had tickets for the Tuesday evening we planned to return from Paris, but demonstrations at the Eurostar tunnel entrance foiled that plan. I was certain we were out of luck, but my resourceful young recent college grad proved she's learned a thing or two, got on the phone and did some talking. The box office cheerfully got us into even better seats on Wednesday for only 2GBP more each. The NT is able to charge very low prices for tickets by almost any standard.
It's a Restoration comedy, very well done. Two broke young gentlemen-scoundrels head for the country hoping to marry money. Broad comedy ensues, with fine live music, singing and dance that really made the production.
H had found herself at loose ends on the Southbank a few weeks ago, and I was able to get her last minute tickets for preview performance of a new play at the NT, The Red Lion. She loved it.
Later this week, I am going to see Le Bizarre Incident du Chien Pendant la Nuit at the Théâtre de la Tempête in the Bois de Vincennes. I hope that it will not disappoint, although I am quite sure that it will be completely different from the version that Htmb saw in London this summer.
So, tonight is when I went to see the French production of The Curious Incident... I thought it was really well done, and the actor who played Christopher was absolutely sensational. The set is not nearly as sophisticated as the London production (I watched the YouTube trailer for that), but then again the Théâtre de la Tempête is just an old armament and gunpowder factory, so they would have to totally rebuild it if they needed to do fancy effects which in any case don't always make a mediocre production any better. Of course that also allows them to keep prices very low, because even among the numerous subsidized theatres in France, there are not all that many where you pay only 15 euros.
I thought it was kind of interesting in the French production that the father was white and the mother was black (and the son somewhere in between obviously), although this has no effect at all on the story. However, I do wonder if they perhaps found the young actor first (since he was perfect) and then cast the parents to match the way he looked. Frankly, if he had been mixed race and both parents white, it would have worked just as well, but I guess the nitpickers would be asking all sorts of irrelevant questions then. ("Does he have Asperger's because of the trauma of adoption?" "Did the mother's past with a black man affect the way the stepfather treats his son?" -- no, better to have the son match his parents, I guess.)
In any case, the play is being extended a week or two, but in such theatres they can't go beyond that. But maybe it will move to one of the main Paris theatres this winter. (That would require a big flop in one of those places, but there are always plenty of those.)
Honestly, I go to a lot of theatre and should post more in this thread, sorry.
I saw a production of Amadeus the other night in Seattle. It was a rather low-budget production, which made for some odd costume, set and casting choices. The set consisted of a decorated electric keyboard (!) an armchair, a cake stand and some occasional chairs. The costumes designer decided to go over-the-top, and raided Value Village for all of the lamé Liberace castoffs she could find. Gap trousers mixed with lace and brocade. It might have worked if more money could have been found.
Casting was odd. They cut back the cast by doubling up most of the roles, and all of the Court was played by women. I'm all for cross-gender casting, but unfortunately, they just couldn't pull it off. Not enough authority, gravitas, maturity, what have you. Mozart was screechingly bad in the first act, but his decline in the second half was much quieter and affecting. Salieri wasn't bad and could have been much better with a higher quality ensemble onstage with him.
It was the fourth production of the show I've seen. This was pretty mild, in my estimation. I was absolutely stunned when I saw it in London in the '80s and walked around glowing for days.
However, this production was multi-cultural, which is the case with most productions here these days. The casting Kerouac mentions above wouldn't have caused a ripple here, regardless of the race of the kid or parents. I've seen Three Sisters with a black Masha, an Asian Irina and a white Olga. In fact, an all-white production of any classical theatre piece in Vancouver these days will draw negative publicity.