Punctuated and Visionary Exploration of Brecht
I have never read Bertolt Bretch. That’s crazy, maybe I should. The universe created in the production directed by Brian Kulick thrilled me. The most surprising elements were the musical numbers. It was refreshing to hear some singing in what you would expect to be a straight play. Not only did the play feature new music by Duncan Sheik, but the actors were also playing percussive rhythms with various not-always-musical objects.
The set felt very real and kept evolving as the story progressed, with props reinventing themselves and rearranged around the stage by the actors: suitcases were almost choreographed! The play contained so many characters that each performers got to play a few, which was fun to witness. It was also stimulating to hear some of the text spoken in Russian. There were always bodies on stage, people standing there watching. It gave a lot of weight/presence, and felt real to convey the period feel. We were certainly before the internet age…
Something else that stroke me was the casualness with which the audience was included in the universe of the play, by inviting people to participate as wedding extras, and by having Azdak, a fake judge with major common sense, heckle a couple in the first row, about matrimonial issues. I thought Alex Hurt was painfully handsome, and of course, Christopher Lloyd was a master class. I grew up in a small farm and his raw and powerful acting transported me in the universe of the story.
Go see it. (extended through June 23, 2013)