Wednesday, August 15, 2007

FRINGE: Reader

At its best, One Year Lease does necessary revivals of important works, like the Phaedra x3 project. At its worst, One Year Lease showcases cold, modern plays, like Bed. But their failures are always visually and technically precise (Iphigenia Crash Land Falls On The Neon Shell That Was Once Her Heart) and their actors are always well studied, thanks to the partnership of director Ianthe Demos and dramaturg Jessica Kaplow Applebaum. Reader, Ariel Dorfman's 1995, ends up being a middling play simply because of how muddling it is: the script's overbearing convention of a censor reading the story of his own life ends up conflating too many characters for us to follow, and the descent into this dystopia is positively Dick-like (Philip). Additionally, the political target of "The Man," isn't a strong enough villain and the immediately evil Director is too likeable (played by a spry Nick Stevenson); there's conflict enough between the hero, his son, and his lover, but it's never clear (despite some strained accents) whether it is Daniel Lucas, the censor, or Don Alfonso Morales, his double, who is struggling.

[Read on]

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