Monthly Archives: July 2010
Endgame opens in silence, in darkness. Emptiness long enough and black enough to be uncomfortable. When the lights come up on the Unicorn stage, they come up on stillness, on the exquisitely bleak set by Gary English, a skewed, shadowy void that creates shifting senses of vastness and confinement, isolation and oppression. At center, a dingy tarpaulin drapes a seated figure. Down right, another tumbles over a pair of canisters on the dark floor. Pinpoints of gray light peek through the tattered, smoky curtains masking two high windows on the upstage wall. Clov (David Chandler) enters into the emptiness, frayed and twisted, every movement its own small agony. In a minutes-long, painful and silent sequence, heavy with routine, he moves and mounts a ladder to open the curtains and peer through the filthy windows. He then whips the covers away, revealing two rusted trash bins, recessed into the stage floor, and a frozen figure, glowing palely in ivory brocade robe, like a wan moon in Dan Kotlowitz’s island of light, his sturdy frame locked in a makeshift wheelchair, a gauzy, blood-stained rag draped over his face. “Finished,” Clov’s first words explode into the silence. “It’s finished, nearly finished. It must be nearly finished.” And so Endgame begins. Continue reading
Brush the Summer By, the current offering at Adirondack Theater Festival, sounds like it should make for a pleasant theatrical soak in the Adirondack Sun. Set in Lake Placid, the script (workshopped by ATF last season) draws its title from an Emily Dickinson poem, is penned by five-time Emmy Award- winning writer Hal Corley, and follows an encounter between a conservative divorcee on a leaf peeping drip from Maryland and a free-spirited bartender. Breezy summer fare. But from the moment the lights come up on said bartender sunbathing nude in the woods, the play stomps without subtlety towards its contrived end. The experience feels more like staring directly into the sun than basking in its glow.