tres bitches –or– i wanna go to moscow

I actually caught a preview of this show a few nights ago, and opted not to mention it online — it’s extremely expressionistic, and didn’t excerpt well, I’m afraid. It feels somewhat churlish to be critical of a show that’s working so incredibly hard to entertain you.

Here, they tackle Chekhov’s weighty dialogue by taking a page from another defining philosopher of the theatre, Bertolt Brecht — complete with anachronistic costumes, pop songs and show tunes, stage directions projected on the wall behind the actors, and contextual footnotes read by a stage manager from the audience. The latter in particular gives it the kind of quality of a cartoony Cliff’s Notes at times, a sort of hyperactive Schoolhouse Rock. But I can’t escape the sense that ultimately, all the show is doing is slathering an astonishing amount of theatrical and visual inventiveness on top of a tedious soap opera.

I was feeling extremely warm and charitable towards the show at the half-hour mark. After an hour, I was more than ready for it to be done. And maybe I’ve been spoiled by bite-sized Fringe outings, but by the time it hit two hours, I was having to work to actively suppress hostility towards the proceedings.

There was a cadre of people sitting to my left who were having a great time, laughing loudly and ready to follow this crew wherever they were going. I’m disappointed I wasn’t able to join them, and I have to say that this one is only for die-hard fans of the playwright and experimental theatre. They’ll find much to deconstruct, I’m sure; but I also feel compelled to give the warning that it’s going to be rough going for the rest of us.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: