Wednesday, March 15, 2006

The Emperor Jones: 03/15/2006

The Wooster Group’s dazzling production of The Emperor Jones is back and anyone who likes theater would be a fool to miss it. Kate Valk’s performance as Brutus Jones is the most technically amazing and powerful performance one is likely to see. Her delivery of O’Neill’s pejorative southern/black language makes no apologies; in fact she dives in head first and fearlessly resonates every “dey” “dem” “sho” and “mo” so much so that it becomes hypnotic. It says a lot that Willem Dafoe (Smithers in previous versions of the production) is hardly missed at all. The role of Smithers, relegated to the edge of the set for most of the show, is now played alternately by Ari Fliakos and Scott Shepherd (Shepherd at the performance I saw) but this is very much Valk’s show. The soundscape of the production (Sound Design by John Collins and Geoff Abbas and Music Composition by David Linton) fits perfectly and seamlessly within Elizabeth LeCompte's tight, tight direction.

For Info: The Wooster Group

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