Friday, June 26, 2009

Gatsby Week, Day 5: Take Note, Kennedy Center!

If this ever comes to DC, sign me up for two tickets. This is from a review of Gatz, in The Independent, October 3, 2008:

"At 3pm an actor enters a stage that is fastidiously designed like a 1980s office and sits at a desk. When his computer won't start, he rifles around the cluttered desk and happens across a copy of The Great Gatsby. He begins reading it aloud, in a flat tone: "In my younger and more vulnerable years..." At about half past 10 the same evening he reaches the book's immortal conclusion. The audience rises in appreciation – in one of the few ovations for which I have also unreservedly stood.

"This was Gatz, the epic production by the New York theatre company, Elevator Repair Service, which ran last week in the Dublin Theatre Festival. The show has been staged in America and around Europe to great acclaim, but a rights dispute meant it was only briefly staged at invitation-only performances in New York. The same problem currently precludes it from the London stage too.

"It lasts seven and a half hours, with two intervals and an hour-long dinner break – theatre as cricket match. Mercifully there was free espresso on hand, though barely a moment of the show flagged. Unsurprisingly, it was not a sell-out and the empty seats allowed one to comfortably stretch out."

Even more impressive, according to this review, the actor closes the book and for the last 30 mintues recites from memory.


DC-area author Leslie Pietrzyk explores the creative process and all things literary.