Tuesday, October 16, 2007

to see or not to see

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a week ago, i saw the wooster group's multi-media production of hamlet at the public theater. the wildly inventive, somewhat pedagogical piece is mainly based on richard burton's 1964 production of the play, which was filmed and then screen for 2 days in theaters across the country. with the burton production projected onto a screen at the back of the stage simultaneous with the present production, the cast imitates, mimics, and sometimes even fast forwards through the performance set behind them. occasionally, other versions of the famous show pop up on the screen as well.

the cast is hard-working and exceptional at bringing this challenging rendition of the play to life. and i emphasize the word "challenging", because that is really what this production is. its a detached production of a very well-known tragedy. in fact, as the picture above denotes, the play doesn't seem to be much about the play at all. instead, the focus seems more aimed towards the effects of performance and the challenges that time and technology present to performance.

so, try to see it at the public theater if you're in for some tough theater. its difficult material to watch and to analyze, but it's also a difficult three hours long. it runs until november 18th at the public theater on lafayette and astor place.

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