Saturday, August 21, 2010

Fringe: The Maid of Orleans

The recent, widely praised London/Broadway production of Mary Stuart has fanned interest in Friedrich Schiller's plays, and never having seen any version of The Maid of Orleans before, I'm glad I went to this adaptation. But though there were bright spots, as an overall piece of theater it was a disappointment. It's an unusual mix of drama and opera, during which the cast sings several well-placed selections from I Capuleti e i Montecchi, Bellini's operatic retelling of Romeo and Juliet. Ethereal soprano Gudrun Buhler digs into the title role, speaking with appropriately unearthly cadences and singing beautifully. Dylan Bandy gives Lionel, the British lord, lovely voicing as well, and a slow-motion stylized fight scene near the end captivates with dreamy pathos. But the production is undercut by uneven acting, some bad miscasting, and direction that lacks vibrancy.

Read the full review on Blogcritics.

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