Sunday, September 23, 2012

Marie Antoinette at the A.R.T.

Y'know I liked this play, but I did not love it. But that is a huge concession from me given the A.R.T.'s record of artistic bungling nigh these past five years or so. Oh it is a flashy witty production to be sure, anchored by a bravura performance from Brooke Bloom as the doomed Queen of France she goes easily from a sort of Lucille Ball clown to a trembling haughty Hepburn facing that final blade. Ms. Bloom seems bound for bigger places based on this performance. If I have a complaint its that the scenario is nigh hilarious in the first act and then as the Royal Family faces deposition and execution it darkens and darkens to pitch black. But then again that tracks pretty much with the broad flow of French History before and during the revolution, first farce then the massacre. Kudos to dramatist David Adjmi for catching that aspect of the story. As for the A.R.T.I'm gonna go out on a limb and suggest their current fascination with all things transgressive, flashy and contemporary strongly suggests they ought to abandon all classical revivals and confine themselves to new plays a'la The Gate Theatre in Dublin. There is nothing worse than watching the A.R.T. work a disco glitter ball into something like Marlowe's Doctor Faustus. They are doing "Pippin" in december, that seems like a good start.