Theater Department of Municipal Theater Envy
posted by April 30 at 10:57 AMon
For those of you who enjoyed the seven-plus-hour Gatz, by Elevator Repair Service, at On the Boards last September…
… please enjoy/chafe under today’s NYT review of ERS’s latest project: The Sound and the Fury.
Take it away, Benjamin D. Brantley:
… after a few first minutes of resistance, I let myself fall into the shifting swirl of voices and movements. Sometimes it was the stylized, seemingly incongruous elements in this activity that most sharply summoned Benjy’s dissociative worldview.
Antic, jaunty dances, for example, become a sensual metaphor for Benjy’s watching social rituals without having a clue as to what they mean (and perhaps also for our own bewilderment). In a scene where the carriage in which Benjy and his mother are riding suddenly turns around, Ms. Sokol’s body is physically twisted by others, conjuring the disrupting disorientation Benjy feels.
When he cries, as he often does, the haunted bellow that fills the air usually comes not from the person playing him, but from some unspecified source. It’s a device neatly matching Benjy’s inability to connect cause and effect, even when the cause is himself.
Remember how great Gatz was? How hypnotic? And surprising (like reinventing the character of Jay Gatsby by giving the role to a brooding John Malkovich type instead of a golden playboy)? Remember the way time stretched and bent around the actors and the story? Stretching in the aisles afterwards, some people said it was like a transcontinental flight. Others said it was like a drug trip. Pretty much everyone said it awesome.
So who can we convince to bring TSaTF here? Seattle Rep? Can you put it on your smaller second stage? Maybe in conjunction with the International Children’s Festival (like you’re doing with Aurélia’s Oratorio)?
Maybe under the rubric of a helping-adults-understand-developmentally-disabled-kids program?
Maybe we can score some education grant money to make it happen? Can we get the Mayor’s Office and 4Culture in on this?