When a bunch of actors arrive on Jan Versweyveld’ stark set carrying armfuls of food I knew we were in for something, but even the V-8 on Elizabeth Marvel in Ivo van Hove’s production of Hedda Gabler a few seasons ago couldn’t prepare one for the onslaught to follow in his new production of The Misanthrope. Van Hove focuses on the characters inner torment in this brutally-physical and smartly-disgusting new production of the Molière play. Live video feed of upstage moments, backstage goings on and even East 4th Street arguments add to the visceral enjoyment of the show. The game cast, including Bill Camp, Joan MacIntosh, Alfredo Narciso, Thomas Jay Ryan, Quincy Tyler Bernstine and especially Jeanine Serrales are all excellent. This is “directors theater” in it most extreme: a unique reading of a classic text, use of multi-media devices, anachronistic props and costumes, and an unusual physicality and I'm certain it's not to everyone's taste. But I'll take this production of The Misanthrope over your typical “museum” reproduction any day!
For Tickets & Info: www.nytw.org
*above photo by Rahav Segev for The New York Times