String Theory: Opus
This Week in the Village Voice Theater section:
Michael Feingold offers an appreciation of Ingmar Bergman, focusing on both his films and his theatrical work, a major aspect of his career that too many obits have ignored. “He made this latter reputation doing only what great stage directors are supposed to do: taking on the finest works of dramatic literature and putting his personal mark on them in ways that magically managed to fulfill both his own vision and their authors’ deepest meanings.”
I spent my week exploring the disputed territory of Israeli-Palestinian drama, attending Betty Shamieh’s The Black Eyed and Ilan Hatsor’s Masked. The former concerns four Palestinian from across the centuries, trapped in the afterlife. Alas, “Shamieh has an exasperating impulse toward the general. She wants to speak for all women, always, and in portentous poesy besides.” Though Masked would like to spark controversy, the blurb on its poster “An Israeli play about three Palestinian brothers,” is much more shocking than the play itself.
Andy Propst doesn’t really harmonize with Michael Hollinger’s Opus at Primary Stages, calling it “an easily digested soap opera set in the highbrow world of classical music.” At Keith Reddin’s Human Errors, James Hannaham finds plenty: “When Miranda tearfully recites dialogue from the black-box recorder, we know this baby’s going down.”