A Vista: a trip

 

Fight With a Stick is presenting A Vista at the Massey Theatre

Mark Rothko didn’t paint the backdrops for A Vista, but it kind of feels like he did. (This is Untitled, 1960)

Hunker down because this is going to sound dull at first, but it’s not; I rarely experience such aesthetic exhilaration at the theatre.

A Vista consists of three parts: “Full Drops”, which I saw last night; “Portals”, which is playing tonight (March 21), and “Legs” (March 22). You don’t have to see one to appreciate the others.

In “Full Drops”, a crew lays out 15 folded painted backdrops on the huge stage of the Massey Theatre, then they tie them to steel battens and raise them. The rest of the performance consists of the slow rearrangement of these drops in relation to one another: they go up and down in different sequences. It takes about two hours—and it’s a fucking trip. (If you don’t believe me, ask the three little boys who were also at the show last night. You get to move around to different viewing areas during these performances and those kids were scuttling about as eagerly as I was—because we were all on an adventure.) [Read more…]

Oh What a Beautiful Morning! traps itself in an analytical mode

In this chunk of the show, live performers provide lower bodies for Laurey and Dream Laurey from the movie version of Oklahoma!

In this chunk of the show, live performers provide lower bodies for Laurey and Dream Laurey from the movie version of Oklahoma!

Oh What a Beautiful Morning! feels like the most sophisticated Powerpoint presentation the world has ever known, but it still feels like a Powerpoint presentation.

My point is that it’s illustrative. Created and presented by Fight With a Stick, Oh What a Beautiful Morning! is a theatrical deconstruction of the 1955 movie version of the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical Oklahoma!

From what I remember of director Alex Lazaridis Ferguson’s notes, which are posted on the lobby wall, the idea is to examine some of the less obvious elements that contribute to our experience of the film—the gestural language, the settler assumptions about space, and so on. So Oh What a Beautiful Morning! tosses out the narrative and zooms in on these details. [Read more…]

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