Thursday, February 12, 2009

Astronome: A Night at the Opera

Photo/Paula Court

I actually did actually see a Richard Foreman work--Pearls for Pigs, at the Tribeca Performing Arts Center in 1997. As it turns out, my 14-year-old self was correct to be confused, and there's a reason why his latest play, Astronome: A Night at the Opera, is subtitled (A Disturbing Initiation). But experiencing a play is far more important than understanding it--our mind will find a way to explain anything, given enough time--so it was with a gradually relaxing tension that I found myself enjoying this. The collaboration blends well, with John Zorn's Astronome (the Tazmanian Devil singing at a garage punk show) colliding with Foreman's visual flair, from a green-faced Tony Cliftonesque presence to the spider-webbed Hebrew and English letters on the set. If the former provides catharsis, the latter takes it on, turning the whispered mantra "Stage fright" into a way of coping with "the forces that invade human life."

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