Sunday, September 20, 2009

OSF: Equivocation (STOS)

I have in the past complained about our big theaters' seeming lack of commitment to local talent, especially in their propensity to import shows from out of town. But the Seattle Repertory Theatre is bringing Oregon Shakespeare Festival's Equivocation to town November 18 to December 13 and I am thrilled. I can see it twenty more times!

A few notes about why this is better than, say, a recent high-visibility import (the Weisenheimer was way too kind). If the Rep's Web site is to be believed, this is the real deal--the entire OSF cast, director, and entire artistic team--and they are superb. Also, this show is good.

Everything about OSF's world premiere production was pretty much perfect. Dazzling writing (Bill Cain) and directing (Bill Rauch). This play is funny, sweet, disturbing, relevant, layered, intricate, wicked smart, and moving. The deceptively simple set, costumes, props, lighting are the perfect palette for some very powerful scenes. Anthony Heald and Jonathan Haugen have long been two of our favorites here in the OSF company and they are extraordinary; Gregory Linington always quietly impresses; I think John Tufts' career is one to watch; and Richard Elmore and Christine Albright are perfectly cast; all deliver superb performances. The continuous staging and ensemble roles are seamless.

I think this is going to be an important play. Don't take the little kids; the torture and execution scenes are too intense for them, and they'd pick up some good anglo-saxon vocabulary that you might not want them to. But if I had middle-school or high school kids, I'd take them. It would be a great opening to talk about power, torture, principles, honesty, and integrity...and history....and theater...and art and writing...and family...

More from the Weisenheimer here.

1 comment:

Weisenheimer said...

I see my kindness as a virtue! But yeah, that other production wasn't too good. I'll go see "Equivocation" with you. If the cast and crew read this, you're invited to our house for dinner!