Saturday, October 2, 2010

And Bernhard needs the nightmare

Rachel Salz reviews One Little Goat's production of Berhard's Ritte, Dene, Voss in the New York Times:

Directed by Adam Seelig, the production wisely avoids naturalism, but the performances aren’t all convincing. Ms. Perreault, in the difficult role of the constant kvetch, adopts a comic tone and mannerisms from another dramatic universe (something more like a sitcom). And Mr. Pettle seems young for Ludwig; he lacks gravity. Their tirades — a chunk of the play — grow tiresome, and you start to tune them out. (They have more zing on the page.)

The abundant cultural references (a partial list: Bach, Beethoven, Schopenhauer, Goethe, Schoenberg, Furtwängler, Webern, Kierkegaard) don’t sit well with these North American actors. They sound rehearsed, not bred in the bone.

So, too often, does this production. The weight of history — Austrian, theatrical and familial — is acknowledged, but doesn’t register as a constricting nightmare. And Bernhard needs the nightmare. It’s his animating force.

A disappointing review - evidently that 'being-in-lieu-of-showing' (of which I had high hopes) is not yet, as Salz might put it, nightmarish enough.

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