Axis Company presents an ensemble driven adaptation of the 1952 Western classic. More…
In this interpretation of 'High Noon,' the Wild West is not the place of heroes and adventure, but a landscape of overbearing nothingness where humans, and their moral conflicts, are cast in glaring light. As the town awaits the alleged return, and savage revenge streak, of a murderer on the noon train, their marshal desperately tries to rally support and save his own life.
“Hollywood Western meets ‘Waiting for Godot’...An intriguing, at times unsettling evening of theater...Foreman dared to veer in the direction of truth, devising a realistic, nuanced narrative...Sharp has dug into Foremans’ screenplay, dissecting its emotional complexity...A truly ensemble piece. The uniformly excellent cast often moves as one...Unaffected choreography keeps the action moving despite the abstract, bare bones presentation.” Full Review
"A famous Academy Award-winning Western film is reinterpreted for the stage. The tension created is riveting...The actors are on stage for the entire performance which lasts a little more than an hour. There is continual movement in which the characters ebb and flow into their scenes. The dialogue is crisp and appropriately clipped and melodramatic for the western genre...The impact is stylized, true to the spirit of a western yet somehow a dreamscape...This troupe has great style." Full Review
"Samuel Beckett’s 'Waiting for Godot' meets Clint Eastwood’s 'High Plains Drifter' in Sharp’s involving staging. All of the actors are onstage through the entire production as if trapped; their words move the tale from the hotel and the depot to the court and the prairie...'High Noon' is famous for, among other things, the building tension leading to the action-packed finale, but Sharp chooses another path there as well, providing a surprising, subtle twist." Full Review
"The intimacy of this 'High Noon' is as palpable as the storyline...In this town without pity or spine...neighbors, lovers, and business partners are interchangeable and the color scheme is film noir. The feeling was also vintage celluloid; French New Wave, to be precise. This haunting theatre piece—a simmering 75 minutes, no intermission—is a true ensemble performance with every actor connected and showcased." Full Review
"Every performance is unnervingly suspicious...Presented as one long scene with no clear breaks, Sharp's dark vision feels like an inescapable nightmare...Despite its occasionally soporific tone, 'High Noon' couldn't be timelier as we reexamine political authority and who has the legitimacy to wield it. While the original film presented a black and white tale of duty, Axis admirably paints in shades of gray." Full Review
“A far reaching adaptation of the very familiar 1952 western...Tension filled...the characters are dressed in black and dark grays immediately creating a sense of foreboding...and it can’t be good...The somber cast moves in tandem some of the time, as pocket watches open and close, as they stare in one direction; severe deadpan delivery provides the emotional buttress to a constant feeling of suspicion and waiting, waiting for something to happen.” Full Review
"The script, presumably cobbled together by the whole company, sticks fairly close to Foreman’s original, but with some odd digressions and odder directorial touches. For some reason, most of the characters’ names, and some of their personalities, have been changed...Beyond the adjustments in plot and characterization, and there are several, director Randy Sharp has reconceived the material as something of an existentialist nightmare...Be advised, it’s missing a couple of reels." Full Review
"A triumph of superior production design and physical staging, this 60-minute theatrical adaptation of the classic 1952 film 'High Noon' conceived by Axis Company is emotionally uninvolving...Director Randy Sharp has the cast of 10 on view and in motion for the entire time. They’re precisely and variably positioned all over the space and this yields numerous aesthetic stage pictures and tableaus. Some of which are gratuitous embellishments." Full Review
See it if You want to see an ensemble at their utmost best. True theatre artistry. The imagery is burned into the retina of my mind's eye. Incredible.
Don't see it if You enjoy kitchen sink theatre.
See it if you thrill to see great ensemble, great direction, excellent costume & sound design, minimalist set, smart adaptation of classic Western
Don't see it if repetition, surrealism, need for plot or deeper meaning drive your theatre choices. This is art for art lovers & doesn't always make sense
See it if you want to see an expert cast tackle a tradition and make it their own. Superb lighting, perfect setting. great costumes
Don't see it if Only one hour (could be a positive for some)..
See it if you’d like to see a Western that blows the genre open, but not before it pays the original its deepest respects.
Don't see it if for you the Western is sacred, or you can’t bear to see the original film tampered with, or you’re looking for a conventional play.
See it if enjoy charged, non-preachy scripts evincing mysteries of human behavior: outsiders, insiders, principles, compromise, community, justice
Don't see it if you want either pure naturalism or a handkerchief-waving Western replica; you don’t like serious suspense
See it if you enjoy seeing a great ensemble at work. Minimalistic slick design. Nothing happens and everything happens at once. Superior sound design
Don't see it if you prefer realism in theater. You have trouble following rapid switching between the scenes.
See it if Waiting for God-ot & the angry guy on the noon train. Metaphorical (grey-shades) monochromatic costumes confound innate impulse to pick hero
Don't see it if Ensemble remains on stage for the hour duration. Simple set then becomes cluttered w/ townies. Loud end effects. Guns.
Also Haunting aural cues. Political intent. Morality play.
See it if you like intense acting, appreciate good sound design, feel a connection with the movie High Noon
Don't see it if don't like loud gun noises even though no guns are shot, not in the mood for a western plot,
See it if A packed one-hour stage production of Gary Cooper classic High Noon. Great staging, sound, and direction. Good ensemble acting.
Don't see it if A very stylized adaptation opens with strobe lighting and loud gunshots followed by many men with guns. Promise of threat and acute tension
See it if you want a challenging retelling of the High Noon story with inventive staging and great acting
Don't see it if you haven't seen the movie High Noon or saw it a long time ago. You may have trouble following it. Also the ending is very anti-climatic
See it if you're a fan of the movie and find the story of a man standing up for what is right and is unable to get society to help him.
Don't see it if you're not a fan of experimental theatre where people don't look at each other when speaking in stilted manner, and underlining thesis
See it if you want to see a first-rate ensemble in an incredibly affecting exploration of the American West, human mortality, and nihilism.
Don't see it if you are too attached to the movie--this isn't your ordinary Western...
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