Jul 28, 2007

Bard & Writings

Apologies for the light posting. I'm on an extended trip, starting last weekend with Bard's SummerScape, where I caught Ken Roht's Orange Star Dinner Show in Bard's plush Spiegeltent. It's a drag cartoon of backstage rivalry at a food-free Wyoming dinner theatre, and I was touched to see how well Ken and co. won over a slightly baffled, all-ages audience. I will say that the whimsy and chaos quotients of this six-actor version of his sprawling 2005 holiday show seem a bit higher than necessary, but there are several priceless, killer songs in a variety of flavors, and the score has been recorded.

At Bard's Fisher Center, I caught an extraordinarily fine, all-Brit production of Shaw’s Saint Joan, directed by the estimable Gregory Thompson and acted with the sort of offhanded authority that only UK-bred actors seem able to pull off (something I also observed here). I couldn't agree less with Mark Blankenship's Variety takedown. What I saw was a towering play, fleetly and scintillatingly delivered, with its contemporary resonances rippling out naturally, almost matter-of-factly, but with a gathering and gripping force. And Thompson's in-the-round staging, though inarguably mounted in a traditional theater space, somehow felt site-specific.

I'm now in L.A. for a friend's friend's wedding and some music business. So I'll close with some links: My LA Times piece on Venezuelan actor Edgar Ramirez; my TDF feature on Marian Seldes; and my Village Voice review of an Ice Factory offering, Johnny Applef!%ker. More when (if) I return.

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