Jan Fabre Burns New Jersey

Prometheus--Landscape II's Flemish flames

Pyromaniacs, rejoice! Flemish theatrical auteur Jan Fabre’s latest extravaganza, Prometheus—Landscape II, now playing at Montclair State, is a collection of conflagrations to satisfy any fire enthusiast’s fancy. This exhilaratingly athletic—and occasionally goofy—romp through Promethean myth unfolds amid the roar of flames, with actors brandishing blowtorches and enormous fire extinguishers. (Don’t worry, they also point out the theater’s emergency exits.)

In the Greek story, Prometheus brings mortals life-sustaining fire—then endures eternal punishment (chains, cliff, carnivorous eagles), courtesy of Zeus. A succession of mythological kibitzers and fellow-sufferers parades by his rocky prison, commiserating and condemning by turns.

Fabre’s Prometheus hangs suspended, limbs splayed, glowering with immortal superiority as a colossal sun blazes onscreen. In this reimagining, the martyr’s gift to humanity is carnal knowledge. The ensemble intones combustion-obsessed love songs—“I’m on Fire,” “Light My Fire”—and one actor tries igniting sparks by rubbing a stick between his fellow performer’s thighs. In a mesmerizing sequence, company members strike matches on their underwear, then extinguish them in their mouths.

A myth gets knotty.
Wonge Bergmann
A myth gets knotty.


PrometheusóLandscape II
Conceived and directed by Jan Fabre
Alexander Kasser Theater, Montclair State University
1 Normal Avenue, Montclair, New Jersey
973-655-5112, peakperfs.org

Some elements of Fabre’s eclectic concoction are perplexing—a fleeting Hitler reference, a Hare Krishna number. And his prelude’s thoughtful meditations on society’s need for heroes rarely reappear. But Fabre’s forceful imagery, and his company’s titanic feats of endurance, are worth the epic trek to New Jersey.

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Like the performers in this "production", you must be smoking something. You neglected to mention, simulated lighted flatulence, a 20 minute sequence where the performers run across the stage screaming, throwing buckets of sand at each other for no apparent reason, a man get spit upon (literally) and a woman gets urinated on. This show was juvenile, nonsense dressed up to seem avante garde. Worst of all, it wasn't even erotic.

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