I could do without Shakespeare set in the Old West and other such flights of fancy usually implemented more as a gimmick than to make a statement, but when someone successfully adapts the timeless humanity of Chekhov to show how little has changed for our troubled species in the last 100 years or resets Romeo and Juliet as a turfwar between the Jets and Sharks in New York’s Hell’s Kitchen, I am onboard bigtime.
More than that, long before I played the father of Tessa Thompson in Charles Mee’s overlooked treasure Summertime at this same theatre, also directed by the Boston Court’s co-artistic director Michetti during their first year of operation, I have been a great supporter of colorblind casting.
production since 1984 is billed as “A Waking Dream of Mexico.” And so it is.
More vibrant, more lively, more joyous, more curiously intimate than any Cirque touring show past, Luzia does not disappoint for an instant, assaulting the senses with a nonstop collage of blazingly colorful shamanistic images that almost surpass the acrobatic artistry of the Cirque’s usual band of ultra-talented performers from around the world—and possibly from other planets as well, if their individual skillsets are any indication.
Beyond those familiar acrobatics and aerial splendors native to any of Cirque du Soleil’s previous 37 productions, the point made this time out is that the mysterious and inexplicable spirit of the nature, here depicted evoking the lush jungles of Mexico’s often still primitive interior, still has the ability to both energize and soothe the human spirit in a world gone totally mad around us.
Michetti’s Streetcar is simply remarkable, the most memorable and courageous reinvention of a great classic I can remember experiencing in my looooong life as a theatre whore and major Williams freak.* * * A STREETCAR NAMED DESIRE at the Boston Court Performing Arts Center Three weeks ago in New Orleans, we spent an amazing afternoon visiting Kenneth Holditch, one of our times’ most respected Tennessee Williams scholars, a cherished old friend who, at 84, is recuperating from major health issues in his museum-like home on Frenchman Street.When I mentioned how much I was looking forward to Michael Michetti’s reinvention of A Streetcar Named Desire, which just opened last Saturday at the unstoppably courageous Boston Court, Dr.Sometimes, however, I must admit I personally am slightly less amazed than I would be if it what was unfolding before me, amazing though it may be, was all new to me.But there’s something truly fresh and incredibly special about Luzia as it celebrates the rich and vibrant traditions of our usurped neighbors of the south, something long overdue as we assimilate their signature culture in everything we do and touch in the Southland.The beauty and power of water is also a major force in the performance’s most emotionally evocative and lyrical scene, as Canadian god-in-training Benjamin Courtenay whips his nipple-length mane of blond hair across his glistening chiseled chest through a gently cascading waterfall.