Mar 5, 2013

A Widow Word Play

Apologies, I've been too buried under deadlines to even point you in the direction of one of the stories that put me under the gun: a piece in the paper of record on the U.S. premiere of Elfriede Jelinek's one-woman play Jackie, indeed the U.S. premiere of anything by Jelinek, a reclusive Austrian Nobel Prize winner, in a production by Women's Project, which is on something of a run lately (their last play was Laura Marks' crackling Bethany). The subject matter of the play alone would be enough to draw attention, but Jelinek's writing is bound to make a splash, as well:
Three male mannequins, their collared shirts duct-taped to plastic-foam wig stands, lie in a pile in an Upper West Side rehearsal room. They are the first signs, at an early read-through of Elfriede Jelinek’s “Jackie,” that this Women’s Project production will not be a traditional bio-play about Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis.

The next warning comes when the actress Tina Benko, a rail-thin blonde with a husky voice, begins the play by reading aloud the playwright’s opening stage directions regarding the mannequins: “Those dead men, Jack, Bobby, Telis (‘Ari’), they’ll be quite a load, so, how shall I put it, she should drag those dead ones behind her like in a tug of war. Or like a Volga boatman with his boat. Sorry, I can’t make it easier for you.”
As fine as the story is, though, the Times really went all out with the multimedia here, including this cool/creepy interactive before-and-after photo of Benko's transformation into character and this video excerpt from the show. Wish I could claim credit for these, but I just do the words part.

No comments: