Monday, November 18, 2019

Weekly Margin 2019, W46: Slava's Snowshow, Fear, Evita, The Underlying Chris

11/11/19: Slava's Snowshow
What: The New York return of magic.
And? The best way I can think to describe this show is that it's like being inside someone's whimsical dream. There's no real logic, but there is certainly dream logic, and that stream of consciousness takes us freely from a stage filled with bubbles while clown lip sync to "Blue Canary" to a a sea quest with a bed as a ship, to a giant cobweb, to umbrellas filled with snow, with the wind and music and the sound of trains. It's so completely delightful and wonderful, and I'm so happy I went. And I want to go back.

The "Blue Canary" sequence. Photo by Pamela Lajeunesse.

11/13/19: Fear
What: An 80 minute three-hander at the Lucille Lortel. A neighborhood girl is missing, and two men and a teenage boy engage in a battle of truth and fear in a shed.
And? I think it wants to be taut and tense with surprisingly psychological twists, but it is not. It is loose with muddy staging, and I kept wondering why the three of them stay in the shed as long as they do.

Obi Abili, Enrico Colantoni, and Alexander Garfin as Ethan, Phil, and Jamie.
Photo by Jeremy Daniel Photography.

11/14/19: Evita
What: New York City Center's gala performance of the Andrew Lloyd Webber-Tim Rice biomusical about Eva Peron.
And? It was really pretty good. With more time to deepen the choices, it could even be great. Director Sammi Cannold has split Eva into her youthful, more innocent self and the vibrant and ruthless operator she became, which lends an interesting beauty as both her selves sing backup to the Mistress's lament, "Another Suitcase in Another Hall." While I would love more nuance in the performance of young Eva (Maia Reficco), the idea is great--as is turning the banquettes of white mourning roses into the heavens (scenic design Jason Sherwood), so that when they lower to frame Eva's balcony speech, she truly seems a celestial being. The tango choreography by Emily Maltby and Valeria Solomonoff is gorgeous and lithe, but the military choreography lacks precision that would make it truly land as a physical language contrast (something I assume could be achieved with more time). Jason Gotay has great spirit (and voice) as Che, and Solea Pfeiffer is unsurprisingly magnificent as adult Eva. Enrique Acevedo seems a bit out of his depth as Peron, though I partially blame his ill-fitting costumes (a pity, next to Eva's costumes, which were perfect). Though I've stated some issues I had with it, this felt fully-realized as a concept and impressively staged. And it was a relief, after the less than impressive Broadway revival in 2012.

Jason Gotay and Solea Pfeiffer as Che and Eva. Photo by Joan Marcus.

11/15/19: The Underlying Chris
What: 2nd Stage presents Will Eno's newest work, following the life of Chris, from birth to death, played across many different actors and iterations.
And? Going into a Will Eno play, you never know what level of impenetrability awaits you, though I guess nothing of his has been as hard for me to parse as Thom Pain, and I adored The Realistic Joneses when I saw it. The Underlying Chris is sometimes odd, often moving, with surprisingly spots of humor. However, the gimmick starts to feel like that, like a gimmick, of who is the Chris in this new scene, and what gaps will they fill in from what we saw of the last Chris's story? There was, finally, a rather remarkable (though barely remarked) meeting of Chrises on a park bench, though if the point was the un-uniqueness of this unique life, I don't quite see why. Or maybe it was just about coincidences. Here's where we get into the impenetrableness of Eno, I suppose.

Nidra Sous La Terre, Denise Burse, and Hannah Cabell. Photo source.

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