Let's Talk Off Broadway

Yvonne Korshak reviews Off-Broadway, Broadway, Film and Art

Tag: Baryshnikov Arts Center

Comparison Review | The Wooster Group’s Version of Tennessee Williams’ Vieux Carre | Directed by Elizabeth LeCompte vs Pearl Theatre’s Vieux Carre

… two great productions … (lucky playwright!)

In the Wooster Group’s visceral production of Williams’ Vieux Carre, a writer/narrator allows his memory to transport him to the past, and to a run-down boarding house in New Orleans’ French Quarter in the 1930’s.  Why this place at this time?  Because it’s the site of his coming of age recognition of his homosexual nature.  But he’s not alone here:  the place is crowded with other tenants who, in their different ways, take part in the drama of his self-recognition.  His memory brings to life their passions and agonies as well as his own.  There are two proud, old southern ladies who scavenge garbage pails to stay alive, the “rapacious”, tubercular old artist coughing into his handkerchief, the young woman from the north whose particular pain we learn of late in the play, her stud man, the landlady, the maid, and the young drifter who becomes the writer’s ticket to a free life.

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Review | Notes From Underground | Adapted from Dostoyevsky’s Novel | By Bill Camp and Robert Woodruff | Directed by Robert Woodruff | Yale Repertory Theatre Production Presented by Theatre For A New Audience and Baryshnikov Arts Center

Dostoyevsky’s short novel, Notes from Underground of 1864, is a gripping vision of the terrors of psychological isolation and the evils that can flow from it.  Often called the first existentialist novel, it’s a remarkable early unrolling of ideas that will become key in modern thought.  It’s a powerful and prescient book.

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