Theatre News, Reviews, Commentary
I saw it at Lookingglass last fall and it's pretty breathtaking. It's too bad that Berkeley Rep isn't equipped to stage it in the kind of flex space Lookingglass has -- I imagine it will lose something in a proscenium presentation, but it's still a terrific show.Kerry Reid
I love Zimmerman's staging, but I found that trailer one of the most ridiculous things I have seen in theatre marketing in a while.I'd be interested to see its effectiveness.But really, the teasing with the Frank Miller's 300 ominous clouds and then seguing into production photos of people pretending to be on ships made me laugh out loud.And the final shot of the boat with the hands around it is an unintentionally hilarious sendup of Zimmerman's type of theatre.If I wasn't a fan of Zimmerman's already, this trailer might actually make me stay away.
Yeah, I gotta agree, Art. At first I was just enthused by the idea of a Mary Zimmerman "trailer", but you're totally right that the results are just way kitchy--and not intentionally. It's "300" meets "Apolyptico"! (You can just imagine the design meeting--"Argonautika?" "Apocalyptico?" same thing!)Still, I applaud the thought. Let's hope the form of dramatic web-based "coming attractions" improves from here. (Maybe using live action, not stills would help!)
The show is a co-production, so if you're on the East Coast, you can catch it at The Shakespeare Theatre of DC, or at McCarter Theatre, in Princeton, NJ.
I will confess that I really liked it. But maybe that's because I have only seen a few scenes of 300?However strong the allure to package theatre like action films may be, it seems like there are some obvious dangers. Namely, theatre isn't like an action film. A question that has plagued many practitioners is how to deal ("compete" is perhaps the wrong word) with the popularity of film? Mimic? Offer something that is a clear alternative? Ignore it? This trailer looks to be having it both ways. Packaged as something thrilling like an ancient epic, the stills show something that is obviously highly theatrical.
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