Monday, April 20, 2009

Take the La Didone Challenge

"That was a lot of work," said Jim at the end of La Didone, the Wooster group's mating of the opera of the same name with Mario Bava's 1965 film, Planet of the Vampires. Every second presented multiple choices: do you follow the actors--and if so which; luxuriate in the music; read the supertitles ( English for the film, Italian for the opera, typically one of each available at the same time) ; or watch the screens, one at rear, two at the sides, on which much of the film appears, and sometimes the arm or hand of an actor?

For 90 minutes, it felt as if my eyes and brain never stopped moving. Work, yes, but delightful and delirious.

It occurs to me that those who know Italian would have a leg up in following this show. but would one less series of supertitles to read detract from the challenge of pursuing the stories all over stage and screen? For me, that pursuit was thrilling--and part of the show's point.

La Didone closes on April 26--catch it if you can, but be prepared to work.

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