Wednesday, April 29, 2009

The Singing Forest

photo: Carol Rosegg

Never let it be said that playwright Craig Lucas sets easy tasks for himself: this three-act, nearly three-hour effort (at The Public) moves from Holocaust drama to door-slamming farce and back again while intertwining events in modern day Manhattan with flashbacks from Nazi-occupied Austria. The result, as directed by Mark Wing-Davey, is an occasionally fascinating mess that doesn't cohere or resonate emotionally despite a game cast (headed up by Olympia Dukakis). You sense that the dizzying swirl of interconnected characters and the overarching theme of identity are aiming for something larger, even epic, but the play's moments remain small and isolated from one another: this is a play that adds up to less than the sum of even its best parts.

No comments: