Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Imperious Caesar, dead and turn'd to clay

might stop a hole to keep the wind away.

I first saw The Wooster Group perform The Emperor Jones-- Kate Valk and Willem Dafoe at the Performance Garage. I was about to say around 1998, but just looked it up and it was 1993. That means I was just a couple years into my academic career, and can only be relieved that I didn't take the occasion to write something about blackface about which I would now be embarrassed. I could digress further in a few directions but suffice to say that I retained the memory and wanted to make it back to other things (I have to one or two but which?) including the revival at St Ann's last year which I'm really sorry to have missed. Is it possible that it's been 14 years? Hamlet was electric, and I don't agree with Ben Brantley that it was all about the mimesis. Every element of the performance from staging to acting to design was obliged to report on every element of the text and performance (via Gielgud via Shakespeare and via however many other interventions) from staging to acting to design, and the result was why we huddled masses stick it out in New York. That said, I have to confess that he's on to something with 'hypnotic to narcotic', but I attended last Friday at the end of a long week and long day and my sympathy extends of capacity not of judgment.

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