Mabou Mines re-imagines Part II of Goethe’s 19th-century masterwork by exploring contemporary themes of globalization, economics, the environment, and gender politics. More…
"Faust 2.0" opens with Faust’s bargain with Mephistopheles. Once the deal is made, Faust finds himself as part of a corrupt and dysfunctional kingdom in the midst of various crises, and his journey results in war and ecological and social problems. Faust exemplifies the global plutocrat utilizing coercion to gain more profit. In the end, he is redeemed at the expense of progress, humanity, and society.
“Maguire’s faithful, inventive and passionate adaptation...Maguire’s fine writing contains sly humor, melancholy and a classical sensibility that melds well with the multimedia theatrics on display...Fogarty’s colossal staging weaves together the many disparate technical elements into a unified mini-epic event...Mabou Mines, the iconoclastic theater company was founded in 1970 and continues to produce edgy, significant works. ‘Faust 2.0’ perpetuates that tradition.” Full Review
“The sheer scope of the post-everything production is actually kind of astonishing. The piece packs in so many references and influences from all sorts of spheres that it’s all rather dizzying. This ‘throw spaghetti on the wall’ approach is what makes the show rather exciting, unpredictable, and ultimately frustrating. At the end of the day, I can’t help feeling that Mabou Mines has bitten off more than it can chew...The play feels overstuffed and overlong, despite the efforts of a game cast.” Full Review
"In her thrilling intensity, Ms. Kandel overcomes the trouble that hamstrings the rest of Sharon Ann Fogarty’s complexly ambitious production...Yet the staging almost always feels disjointed — as if the live and recorded actors were on different planes, and not in a meaningful way...It’s weird, then, that this crowded production reads as bloodless, with no sense of Faust’s perpetually restless desire...A wealth of talent populates this show, but the elements just don’t cohere." Full Review
“Mabou Mines takes on the German classic, with mixed results...’Faust 2.0’, contains moments of humor and beauty but doesn't coalesce into a clear or fully satisfying experience...Fogarty's interpretation of this timeless tale is constantly surprising, if not always inspired...The play has too many ‘Huh?’ moments...Let's also hope that the next time they sink their teeth into a text, they rely less on the trappings of post-modernity and more on their own deep pool of experience and talent." Full Review
"The multimedia components of the production run wild here, resulting in a disjointed presentation that never does full justice to the text or its performers...’Faust 2.0’ is gifted with a thought-provoking script and strong acting, but the production simply doesn't showcase them to their fullest potential. Maguire's adaptation operates skillfully in tragic and comic modes, offering satire and sincerity alike. The problem is that in the modern era, all the digital noise won't let us listen.” Full Review
"An utter catastrophe of uninspiring staging that left me dumbfounded. How could this have gone so wrong?...A lot for the actors to chew on, but when you have them acting to cameras, set up with screens that distort and block their actual faces, or the majority of them prerecorded and airing on one of the five screens hanging, then, well, they’re acting alone, and that solitude creates a void between the actors and the words they are saying." Full Review
See it if you're interested in variants on the Faust tale or like to keep abreast of the current work of storied veterans of downtown theater.
Don't see it if you’re looking for a well-made play: This is multimedia, imagistic & diffuse.
See it if you love classical texts, classical language adapted by a master, and great actors! Or you are researching the use of technology onstage.
Don't see it if you hate the use of technology onstage that reduces the greatest actors to parts and flatness, sleep when live actors talk to screens
See it if If you like a differnt wsy of producing a classic play. Interesting direction that makes it good at certain times.
Don't see it if It looses its lusrer after a while. A modern play of a classic that goes awry. Teadous comes into play, edgy, new but not great.
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