Jun 27 2011

Robert Wilson’s Brecht: color me skeptical

Published by at 4:13 am under Uncategorized

It’s an impressive trailer, for sure.

But I have seen a fair amount of Robert Wilson’s work: Black Rider, Time Machine, Alice in Bed, Dr Faustus Lights the Lights and Hamlet, are the ones I can recall off the top of my head. I have watched Wilson conduct rehearsals for Alice in Bed and for a production of Madame Butterfly at the Paris Opera. They are always visually impressive, although you are left with a distinct sense that he does have a formula that he applies: a cyc lit up with a carefully chosen, very saturated color, and some geometric, minimal set pieces. Add slow motion and actors’ bodies making baroque shapes, and you got the quintessence of Wilsonism.

I don’t see him delivering on the earthy humor, sensuality and vitality that runs through Brecht’s writing. Maybe the Berliner Ensemble will be bringing that to the table, maybe not. But I sort of think that even if they did bring it to the table, he might quash it. I imagine this production will make it’s way to LA one day, and perhaps I’ll be proven wrong.

A Brecht character says in one play: “I love people who have miscalculated.” Wilson calculates all too well, methinks.

Perhaps you’ll be getting a taste of what my Brecht is like as well, at some point not too far in the future. Stay tuned.

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