Posts Tagged ‘robert wilson’

Review – Krapp’s Last Tape – Robert Wilson at Barbican Theater

June 19, 2015

Imagine the most perfect set ever for a show – one that looks exactly like the pen-and-wash designs, the edges sharp and perfect, the lighting crisply just-so on exactly every spot it needs to be.

Imagine a performance that mirrors this, each movement rigidly controlled, the actor’s facial expressions produced as if from the one perfect take of a cinematic thirty. His clothes utterly match the set, his face a series of whites, blacks and grays, his socks the one spot of color on all of the set (aside from the incongruous appearance of a banana).

We are meant to be watching a clown, a Chaplin, the stripped down bones of the art of drama all squeezed out for the perfection of Beckett’s Krapp’s Last Tape, a classic deserving of the finest of treatment, the audience there to worship together at this church.

In front of me, lovers necked through the extremely long (and aurally painful) unspoken moments, and at the end a booer seemed like Judas taking his fistful of silver coins; as if saying, “That is not it, at all.” He was practically strung up from a tree for his heresy.

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At home, I read a Facebook post from a friend, saying, ” ‘Thank you for seeing me,’ mumbled the elderly street clown as I took his hand to thank him for making me laugh,” and I thought, that was how that play should have made me felt. Life ends in death and we all have regrets. I do not need to go to the church of Beckett, led by the high priest Wilson, to have that realization. Instead, I should seek laughter and express gratitude for those who do make our limited time joyful. I saw something really beautiful and stripped of all ability to create any sense of shared humanity tonight. Tomorrow, I think I’ll step away from perfection and prayer and go for some sweat and dirt at the circus.

(This review is for a performance that took place on June 19th, 2015, and marks my official last Beckett play ever. Unlike Krapp, I believe in learning from my mistakes.)

Mini-review – Playing Cards 1: Spades – Robert LePage at the Roundhouse

February 22, 2013

I have got a problem. I keep getting Robert LePage and Robert Wilson confused with each other. Embarrassingly, I also get Robert Anton Wilson and sometimes Robert Plant muddled together with them into into one giant Robert, writer of the Illuminati trilogy, groundbreaking set designer, famous director, and inspiration for two generation of metalheads.

Unfortunately, I think there’s really only one of them that I really like, and that’s the author. I went to see Playing Cards: Spades at the Roundhouse because I thought I was going to see something by Robert Wilson (since I admired the set work for Einstein on the Beach even if I thought it was slow and dull); instead, it was by the irritating French director who’s really well known but who I’ve found rather unforgivably self indulgent. Playing Cards: Spades represented what I saw as a nadir of his work (not that I have enough to judge it by): an overly long night of technical perfection (including flawless performances) utterly lacking in motive force and emotive power. It was exactly the kind of evening I avoid in either theatrical or cinematic form: too many stories supposedly linked together by the fact that the characters will, at some point, cross each other’s paths (easy enough in a Las Vegas hotel), sassed up with a little sex, a lot of violence, a couple of buckets of humiliation, and a bonus visit from the devil a la Don Giovanni. Yeah, at the end there was a really awesome smoke tornado – the first time I’d ever seen such a thing – but after having been in the theater for two hours and twenty-five minutes, I was beyond caring.

Bonus: front row seats were £15, only 10% of the view was blocked, and you can get up and go pee whenever you want. Negative: two and a half hours of my life are worth more than £15, but you may feel differently.

(This review is for a performance that took place on Thursday, February 21st, 2013. It continues through March 2nd.)

Art review – Robert Wilson, Portraits – Palazzo Madama, Turin

November 8, 2012

While this blog is mostly about my theater visits, I mix in some ballet and opera, but I have other interests. I’ve had a few gardening posts: today I’m going to write about art. The inspiration: a trip to the Palazzo Madama in Turin, where I discovered an exhibit by Robert Wilson tucked amidst the Medieval sculpture and Baroque gew gaws. This makes 2012 the Year of Bob for me, since I’ve been to both his Walking exhibit and seen Einstein on the Beach.

Now, Bob wasn’t what drew me to the Palazzo: frankly, it’s a bit hard to ignore, what with it sitting smack dab in a huge open space in the middle of the historic center of Turin. And it’s a fascinating hodge podge, all medieval-looking from the back, but with a frothy white front that matches the rest of the public facing buildings. The mixed history of this building is what drew me to it, as I am frequently turned off by Baroque architecture – sometimes I can get lost in all of the curly wurly hurly burly, but more frequently I just find it all as indigestible as an all-icing cake. I saw it and went, “Hey, now that is cool looking building, nice and ancient looking in back, yet curiously modernized! What in the world is going on here?”

As it turns out, the building not only has its own fascinating history (I’ll let you read up on it on your own, it goes back to Roman times) but is an icon of Turin’s glory days. Inside it is housed a museum of art as well as the semi-preserved apartments of “Madames” Christine Marie and Marie Jeanne (which I was much less interested in than the art). I had actually planned on blowing through the upstairs altogether (baroque furnishings, bleh), but downstairs, amidst all of the fantastic gothicky wooden carvings and lovely paintings of the saints, there were all sorts of little reminders that there was an exhibit of portraiture upstairs which was in some way responding to the art in the (very old feeling) basement.

Let me talk a little bit about the art in the basement. The first room was a painted altarpiece, a ceiling moved from a demolished building, and the most amazing choir stalls, carved with the freakish creatures (mermen, chimera, something that was mostly a head) that bubbled out of the imagination of a team of 16th century French sculptors. The amount of detail was amazing – even some of the seat backs had little scenes in them. I had a hard time leaving the room.

The next room, the largest in the basement, was divided into several areas, each filled almost to bursting with excellent examples of medieval and renaissance art. The most celebrated painting was Portrait of a Man by Antonello da Messina; but I was entranced by the many lovely things, including a bone casket with Limoges medallions, a sculpted “life of Mary Magdalene” where every personage was grinning like a loon, and a fascinating Renaissance allegory painting (called, I believe, “The Game”) in which Venus appeared to be playing chess with Mars. I could barely leave.

When I finally ascended the stairs (after a long visit with a coffin featuring the adventures of Perseus carved in alabaster), I made it into a room that was white to the point of glowing, with sculptures of pairs of women curled on a ledge under the ceiling. They seemed wise and a bit amused, and while they were, apparently, representations of the various provinces of Savoy (if I recall correctly), I read them as an older woman’s assertion of confidence and sense of self. These statues were lit, in turn, by the glow from the numerous video screens in the room, which were somewhat muted by an unusual arrangement: in the center of the (white) room, there was a roofless box (of white), pierced by four entryways, each gap partially blocked by a (white) panel. On exploration, the panels held video screens that faced toward the cube; they were best seen by entering the cube itself, which was covered by numerous glowing panels with polka-dotted backgrounds and a snowy owl. The effect was, looking up, COLOR COLOR OWL CHAOS smiling female statue. Fascinating! Each of the panels had a video screen of a different animal, chosen (seemingly) for their own color (or lack thereof): a black panther; a pile of skunks; a porcupine; a clearly manipulated (so as to be rainbow colored) frog. The effect of the mostly black and white palate made the occasional motion of the animals even more heightened – and with the women looking over us, it felt like somehow we were having a joke played on us. It was, to be sure, playful, and gorgeous, and very fun.

The next room I went in was full of the kind of gewgaws and trinkets that, while the height of baroque artisanship, are so overwrought that, when clustered together, I tend to tune them out. Cabinets with beautiful inlaid marquetry/stonework; statues; silver salt cellars; ridiculous clocks. I would have normally blown by them, but now they fought against the slightly moving and equally vibrant modern video portraits scattered among them. The effect was to make the regular collections more digestible, to convince me to spend a bit more time with them just as I was needing to spend more time looking at the Wilson pieces to see them evolve through their storylines (each of them had a bit of motion in them).

The next two rooms were large and mostly empty, and the pixelated pictures stood as equals (yet leaning towards having more energy what with occasional music) amongst other portraits. The rooms led to a pretty circular room covered with tiny portraits, vying with a large picture of Brad Pitt being rained on (which seemed to attract rather a lot of attention, what with his being in his boxer shorts). I got the feeling that I was in Hogwarts, with the old portraits on the walls all but talking to me. It was very striking, the effect being of the world of art gone by standing up to greet its newest incarnation. Delightfully, from this corner (where I spent rather a while, waiting to see just what he was going to do with his gun) I was able to sneak down a hall to a lovely, naturally-lit room and enjoy a lovely hot chocolate. All pleasures were being catered to at the Palazzo Madama!

While there was even more palace and even more art to be seen, I’ll end my review here. I was impressed at the way the portraits – which in a different environment I might have considered banal, celebrity-focused, unnecessarily obsessed with technology, and forgettable – actually engaged strikingly with their environment in a way that enhanced both the form and contents of the Palazzo and Robert Wilson’s otherwise gimmicky product. They added light, sound, and motion to a dusty static world, and the effect was positive for both of them. I’m really pleased I had a chance to see this installation, and I have to applaud the forward thinking museum directors who made this exhibit happen.

(This review is for an exhibit I saw on Sunday, October 28th, 2012. It continues through January 6th, 2012.)

Review – Walking – Robert Wilson at Norfolk and Norwich Festival

August 24, 2012

Imagine if you will: the beach. Really cool art. A promenade that is really a promenade. And the art is made by Robert Wilson, shit hot theatrical all purpose genius whose Einstein on the Beach is pretty darned fresh in my mind. Now that would be an installation art experience you would have to see.

Even if it was a part of the Norfolk and Norwich Festival. Which Walking is. And, while I don’t have any particular feelings for or against any festival (other than the Edinburgh Fringe), this did mean that to see this thing I was going to have to travel to a whole new place: in this place, Holkham, a town so small that even the bus driver whom I asked in Kings Lynn (where I was supposed to pick up my bus to get to Holkham!) had not heard of it. And to get there from London, I first had to take a train (for about two hours), and only THEN could I catch the bus for my further hour and a half on the bus to the actual destination (arriving twenty minutes later than expected).

The bonus? In the end, the public transportation thing DID totally work. British Rail delivered me on time to Kings Lynn, and the #1 Coasthopper bus did turn up as promised about five minutes after my train did, then magically turned into a #2 at Hunstanton so that I could make it the rest of the way without changing buses. And the meetup point for walking was just a five minute walk from the bus stop, in a field off of a path leading to the ocean, and clearly signed. The bus was twenty minutes later than I expected, but since I’d planned on arriving forty five minutes early (as advised), I was still on time.

Negative: I had ten minutes before things were going to start and I had not had any opportunity since 8:45 AM (when I caught my train from King’s Cross) to purchase a sandwich as First Capitol Connect don’t offer so much as a bag of crisps for sale on their trains. The instructions for the walk said to bring no food, so I hadn’t packed emergency rations, counting on a BIT more of a gap somewhere along the line to hit a sandwich shop. And if there was a sandwich shop in Holkham (or even a convenience store), I never found it. However, I ran to the nearby Victoria pub and was able, for a mere £7.95, to convince them to make me an egg and cress sandwich wrapped in foil which I ate as quickly as possible.

Note: bring food. There is none on site. An apple doesn’t cut it.

Negative: waiting. Too much waiting. We waited about 20 minutes for our pickup to the walk start site, then waited about half an hour to actually be able to start the walk. This particularly aggravated me because I could have enjoyed my little sandwich a bit more. Now, the wait at the event start point was because we were being sent through one at a time with about a five minute gap between person, but the effective point was that you had to stand there, in the lovely open air, in a f**king queue, which to be honest was the one thing I wanted least to be doing on a day which, in my mind, was going to be about being outside and walking. Given that we were 1) about to be on our feet for four hours and 2) not going to be talking to anyone else for that time, I would have much preferred it if we could have spent that time sitting in a convivial circle and visiting with each other until our number was called (as it were). Waiting became, by default, a part of this event, and it was not managed well.

So, let’s now pretend that all of the effort of getting there via public transportation and trying to get food on short notice and under duress and standing in line for half an hour did not happen, and start at the beginning of the experience as I imagine Robert Wilson planned it:

You come up to an entry to a field. In the distance is a giant box (?) of plywood, with a black curtain across the front. A yellow rain jumper clad guard bars the entry to the plywood. People are slowly, slowly walking toward the curtain, then disappearing. Perhaps they are being turned into sausages, because they do not seem to emerge anywhere.

You are now about to enter the field. A kindly, yellow rain jumper clad guide comes up and tells you your journey is about to start. She then walks beside you for a bit, helping you align yourself to the very slow, deliberate pace you are supposed to follow for this event. You then walk, slowly, to the black curtain. After a bit of instruction, the guard lets you in.

The room is totally black. You sit there and wonder when it will not be black. No light comes in at all: there is a deep booming coming from the other side of the wall. Eventually (three minutes later?) the black velvet cracks and a door opens in front of you, revealing, not a box, but an open-roofed enclosure with two story tall, brown reed covered walls on three and a half sides, a sand-covered floor, and a deep black pit in the middle (the bottom is not visible) surrounded by raked sand. Five people are stood around the edges, almost like time markers on sundial. The walls are pulsing with some kind of very deep sound. I am walked to an open position, facing the pit. Another person is walked out the gap, away from the door; after a while, someone comes through the door and is walked to the newly opened position.

After about 15 minutes (maybe 20? we weren’t allowed to bring anything that showed the time, although of course I had my phone in my pocket so I could tweet the whole thing) I was brought to the gap and shown the path, and again reminded of the slow pace. I was told to look for the white rocks that marked the path in case I lost sight of the person in front of me (which I was told I would as the path turned at various points). I then sat off.

It was a very nice day, overcast, not hot and not raining. On one side was a fenced field with cows. Ahead I could see about four other walkers. As time went on, I caught several of them, presumably separated from their companions, looking over their shoulders nervously; I couldn’t help but think of Lot’s wife.

We continued slowly, slowly walking along past a creek with rushes growing out of it; past a field with a foal napping in it; past more horses; over a newly made wooden bridge; over a specially made stile. Eventually we went up a tiny, tree covered hill, where the other walkers finally disappeared. I never felt tempted to look behind me, but I couldn’t help but feel the pressure to WALK FASTER and I saw the woman in front of me frequently having to stop herself so she didn’t overrun the elderly lady just ahead of her.

Our next art installation was … basically two tall wooden walls with about a shoulder’s width of space between them. After this, we walked on the edge of a pond.

Finally, we got to the actual sand dunes, which were riddled with holes from rabbit warrens. A dead rabbit, flattened by time, seemed a deliberately placed metaphor I wasn’t quite able to translate. Then over the hill and …

into a world of grey cubes with people sat on them. I had found the rest area! There were also two narrow tables with artistically placed bottles of water and apples (alternating) across them. I was greeted and advised to use the rest facilities and help myself to the food, and told that a particular cube was mine to sit on until a guide came by to “take me on the rest of my journey.” This area seemed jammed with people I hadn’t seen before, and, of course, since there was a gap for the walking, there was a very long wait while all of us were processed … it did feel a tiny bit like something out of a myth, and the mood music was probably supposed to help us feel that we were in a timeless place. But somehow people felt a bit rushed and uncomfortable. But I sat there on my grey cube and listened to the music and imagined myself in a Magritte painting and imagined that we were all off on heroic quests …

Then it was my turn. A guide came to me and helped recalibrate my steps so they were nice and slow, then mentioned that, as I was heading into a hilly area, I needed to be looking for white sticks instead of the stones as before.

This section of the walk, with the twisted pine trees and lovely texture of the hills, was actually more fun than the other half, as it seemed to be more close to the land of fairy tales. But I couldn’t escape the trudging of the people ahead of me. They’d stopped looking behind them, but now the woman behind me was needing to just completely stop at times to allow the woman ahead of her to keep at a reasonable distance; and I could feel the disappointment of the people behind me when I, in turn, stopped to keep the gaps level.

At last we broke out of the woods and into the pure sand dunes, and there, in the distance, was the tiny point of a pyramid – the next installation of the path. It was very iconic on the horizon and fun to walk toward and watch grow larger. It was actually about three stories tall when we finally got to it, and there was a little hole allowing us to go into it (and out again). Inside there was some kind of sound coming from overhead. I loved the space, but was hustled out by a guide as I was apparently fooling around a bit too long.

Once we’d gotten out, we were just a few steps from the very end – the front of the long beach at Holkham, beautiful with the tide out, covered with long, narrow clam shells. Above the tide line were about eight platforms facing the sea; we were encouraged to go stand on one (there was a ledge of about a foot) and then be slowly winched so our horizon line went up, up, up, away from the sea, to the sky, so we were laying on our backs, listening to the water, watching the sky. It was very nice (if initially disorienting) and I sat there for rather a while with my eyes closed, grateful the sun wasn’t shining any more brightly.

And then, of course, it began to rain. I asked to be returned to level ground, and was told I was near the end of the walk, just ahead, where there were water bottles and flapjack (yum!). So … I went and got my water and my flapjack … and was told I had a THREE MILE walk back to the start of the walk, or, if I wanted, I could go to the shuttle pickup nearby, where the minibus came by every half hour at an indeterminate time.

I realized I was in a bit of a pickle as it was getting to be the time when the bus back to King’s Lynn was only going to coming once an hour, and the rain was now coming down quite hard. I went forward toward the spot I’d been told was the turn off (“near the blue tent”), and, hoping for the best, headed back into the dunes looking for the pickup zone, only to find myself wandering lost in the sandy hills (and then the trees), only finding the occasionally sunning naturist. What had happened to our white poles and rocks? How was it, that after all of this effort to guide us for four hours, we were just completely forgotten about at the end and dumped into the middle of nowhere with nothing more than a “it’s thataway” to help us find our way back?

By the time I finally made it back to Holkham proper, I was wet, hungry, desperate for a wee, and more than just a little pissed off (did I mention hungry? that don’t bring food thing was crap). I had five minutes left until the bus came … but given the choice between two hours on a bus with a full bladder and missing the bus, I decided portapotty takes precedence. I then finally made my way back to the bus stop …

only to discover 1) I’d been looking at the Sunday schedule, and the bus now came ten minutes earlier than I’d been aiming for and

2) the bus was, for some reason, running half an hour late. The woman who’d started the walk with me was furious at the bus’ tardiness (as she thought it meant she’d miss the exchange in Hunstanton, but again it was the same bus) as she’d gone full speed through most of the installation and had been waiting for it for all of the time it was supposed to have been there. But to me, it just meant I got to catch the bus and not wait for another hour, and I was grateful.

We sat next to each other on the way back and talked about the show. To her, it was “zen fascism,” a phrase I thought hysterical and somewhat mood lifting in its implied rage. She, too, had travelled from London for this event, and she, too, agreed with me: it was just really not all that much in the end, and certainly not worth the tremendous effort we’d made to get there (including, for me, taking a day’s holiday from work). One open top box, one wooden wall, one cute lunch area, the pyramid, the platforms. Well, the platforms were cool, but they still weren’t worth the effort, and the overall collapse of the event at the end of the trail really just made the whole day incredibly painful.

Ah well. Next time, I’ll just take a walk on the beach, and pack a sandwich.

(This review for walking was based on the events of August 21st, 2012. Signage may have been improved by now. The event continues through September 2nd.)

Mini-review – Einstein on the Beach – Philip Glass Ensemble at the Barbican

May 8, 2012

NOTE: If you are going to see this, I have some advice. 1. Pack water. It is allowed. You may feel too anxious to wait in line to get some when you are outside. 2. Eat beforehand; you can make it for four hours fifteen minutes without a meal. 3. When the curtain goes down and you just have people singing in front of it, this is your good chance to go to the bathroom. 4. Not much happens early in any scene. This is also a good time to pop out, say if you need a bite to eat. 5. Candy etc is not supposed to be allowed but I do really think a bit of sugar helps keep the energy levels up and your bags aren’t confiscated. A bag of M&Ms or Minstrels could really affect your enjoyment of the show. Just don’t crackle! 6. The audience does come and go, so remember to keep your bag or coat between and behind your feet. Be kind and turn your feet aside to help them pass. 7. If you’re coming back in, don’t hesitate with the door open as it’s distracting to the people sitting nearby. Instead, be sure you’ve got the right row before you go in, then just move on through. Also, don’t expect people to stand – the rows at the Barbican are thankfully wide so you can get by without them moving at all, provide they have tucked their bags behind their feet as described.

What, exactly, is Einstein on the Beach? It’s described as an opera with a length (five hours) that makes attendance a bit of a competitive sport. As presented by the Barbican, it’s a show with a price that makes attendance a bragging point (cheapest £35; restricted view £75; almost everything in the stalls £125). With a look at its provenance, it’s a work of historical importance, to an extent because of the innovative collaboration between composer Philip Glass and designer Robert Wilson.

So why would I want to go? In the end, it was because I like the music of Glass. I was also interested in seeing an iconic work – one for the life list, you know (I’d admired the photographs of the production way back in my grad school days). And while the price was really too high, I decided to just bite it and scale down the rest of my show attendance instead.

Einstein on a violin

Three months after I bought those tickets, though, my will to endure evaporated before I even entered the auditorium. I received an email from the Barbican letting me know there was going to be no interval. WHAT MY GOD FIVE HOURS MY TINY BLADDER! My panic was reduced by a note saying that “the audience is invited to enter and exit at liberty during the performance” … but that led to other worries i.e. how lame would it be to have people walking on front of me constantly during the show? And then the line “Food and drink (other than bottled water) will not be permitted in the auditorium” suddenly brought it home: I was looking at a marathon, and it was not looking very fun. The thought of “one for the life list” disappeared into a haze of “aargh” even though I’d deliberately picked a day to go that would leave me an entire day to recover before going back to work. What did I want to do? Chill out. When did I want to do it? Sunday, May 6th, 2012.

What was going to keep me from doing it? The money. £75 was a hearty investment, and, at best, if I returned my ticket I might only be able to get some credit for it which I would probably never be able to spend given the Barbican’s labyrinthine redemption policies. Or I might just lose it all. I decided to suck it up rather than entirely blowing the cashola. The breakdown: show up at 4 PM as planned, then leave in time to actually get a real dinner. Screw staying for five hours, screw taking a twenty minute break so I could get something solid to eat and then return having completely lost the plot: I was just going to leave when I wanted to and feel no pressure at all to “make it to the end.” And, frankly, if I was having an absolutely rotten time, I was just going to leave whenever the heck I felt like it and consider it an exercise in reclaiming my time for myself, given that the money was already gone. (I did hope, however, that I would enjoy the music enough that I would be able to hold on all the way through until my appetite chased me out the door.)

This all sounds just terribly grouchy, but I felt it was fair to let you know what my mindset was before I went into the show, and that I was deliberately planning on leaving before the end. Giving myself an out lifted my spirits and strengthened my resolve to attend at least some of this show; if I was amazed, I could always snarf down a horrible cold sandwich and go back in for the whole thing.

HERE BEGINNITH THE REVIEW

Einstein on the Beach suffers from being called an opera, which gives the viewer all sorts of preconceptions about what they are going to experience: something involving plot, say, or emotion, or maybe even Einstein. I think it would be best to walk in expecting music with visualizations, and not narrative music or even music that causes images to appear in your head. (Apparently it was designed pictorially first, with the music coming afterward.) What with the addition of all sorts of lighting, costuming, and dance, it does ultimately form a “gesamtkunstwerk” – but it isn’t an opera. Leave the mental limitations of opera behind and the baggage loss will free you greatly.

I don’t think, however, it will cause you to enjoy yourself. Both the movement (choreographed by Lucinda Childs) and the music is extremely repetitive: listening to a chorus count, “One two three! One two three!” over and over, I realized I’d never before thought that so much tension could be built around waiting for someone to get to four. In addition to the singing of numbers and note words (i.e. do re mi), there were little nonsense speeches that were repeated until the words became stripped of meaning. They certainly never had anything to do with the action on stage and, I believe, no context; they were just words formed into sentences with a dream logic at best, pronounced as if by a parrot.

That said, the images created on stage were interesting, but the buildup to these images was so extended that my senses were dulled when the “climactic moment” occurred. As I expected, I enjoyed the music and hearing it performed live, but with nothing to really engage my brain (in the way narrative would, and more varied movement might have), I found myself entering into an almost hypnotic state and occasionally taking micronaps.

Was it worth my £75 and the three hours I gave it? I think the answer is yes, in part because of the “group experience” of it all (including dealing with the new experience of people going in and out of the theater – sometimes tripping over my feet – while the music carried on, and the awareness that in the heaving theater everyone was performing a calculus as to when was the ideal time to hit the loo). That said, I didn’t feel particularly sorry about the time that I missed, especially since I didn’t feel like most of the scenes/acts merited more than about five minutes of eyeball time. I also feel better about what I saw/did because of leaving when I did, as it meant I felt I got the most joy possible out of my Bank Holiday Sunday (and didn’t spend the evening dealing with an increasingly miserable empty stomach). As it turns out, the whole thing lasted only another hour and fifteen minutes from my three-hours-in scheduled departure; it’s likely I could have stayed, but I’m not bothered that I didn’t. My husband said he left (at the end) feeling “oddly uplifted:” I can say I shared that feeling, only seventy-five minutes sooner than he did.

(This review is for a performance that took place on Sunday, May 5th, 2012. The production continues through May 13th. As a comedy note, I kept trying to say Robert Wilson and accidentally saying Robert Plant: I wonder what an opera designed by him would look like? For an alternate review, please see Gareth James’ comemntary. For a thoughtful analysis of the work as performed in New York, please see Dance Tab‘s Marina Harss.)