Wednesday, June 12, 2013

3 Kinds of Exile

Everyone has the occasional bad bad at work; 3 Kinds of Exile offers us a few of John Guare's.

The first exile, Karel, has a few advantages: (1) his story is genuinely interesting; (2) he is played by the wonderful Martin Moran, who knows the alchemy involved in turning a monologue into a living piece of theatre; and (3) it comes first in the evening, while the audience is still perky. (Note: all of the exiles are real people.)

Martin Moran
Photo: Kevin Thomas Garcia
The second exile, actress Elzbieta Czyzewska, has a tougher time of it. Although her story is fascinating, with everything but the bloodhounds snapping at her rear end, Guare has turned it into a dualogue, which is painfully different from a dialogue. Guare, making his "acting" debut, and Omar Sangare, who had a featured role in Czyzewska's life, take turns telling us about her and what happened to her. Omar occasionally plays one of the people in Czyzewska's life, to little profit. The "play" is a recited essay.

For the third play, Guare gives us an absurdist version of an absurdist's life. Writer Witold Gombrowicz is the exile. Luckily for the audience he is played by David Pittu, who single-handedly improves the piece from tortuous to only extremely painful.

I go to theatre to see people interact--people, not one person. I like to see characters spar and bill and coo and lie and manipulate and give and take. Mostly, I like to see them talk to one another. However, even though two of the 3 Kinds of Exile feature more than one person, they do not rise above the ambiance and disadvantages of the thinnest of one-person shows. (Of course, there are writers and performers who ace one-person shows--see, for example, Moran's brilliant All the Rage.)

On a whole, 3 Kinds of Exile left this reviewer eager to see Six Degrees of Separation.

(midway back, orchestra, press ticket)

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