In the rarely performed "Salome," Oscar Wilde explodes a Biblical footnote into a surreal moonscape of alienated passion. More…
Pouring his own doomed desires into the imprisoned prophet Iokanaan, the mercurial princess Salome, and even the vulgar paranoid Herod Antipas, "Salome" is a prophecy of social destruction, a parable of what nightmares erupt when we demonize desire, criminalize otherness, and look but never see.
"This M-34 production, under Rutherford's direction, doesn't rise to stratospheric heights. Quite the opposite: Rutherford's direction and writing turns Salome into a fascinating domestic comedy/drama, an interesting interpretation, even a witty interpretation, but one that avoids piercing the audience's minds. He keeps the actors watchable with an in-your-face directing style. Earnest and energetic as it is, he never squeezes fresh revelations from the text." Full Review
"The production has two focal points. First is an outstanding dance, enhanced by projections...Second is an extravagant characterization of Herod Antipas by Marty Keiser. The performances overall, but Keiser’s in particular, strike a nice balance between stylized comic costume-drama and tragic realism...The play resonates on multiple levels...Rutherford’s admirable translation stays close to the original, giving us Wilde indeed, flaws and all." Full Review
"Rutherford's new take on the tragedy retains all the grisly aspects of Wilde's play. But he re-imagines it at a slightly different level of vibration. Not only does he give us a new translation of Wilde's original French text, but he non-conventionally casts Feathers Wise as the prophet, giving the role a genderfluid feel...The creative use of the capacious performing space at the Irondale Center ensures that the 22-member cast are kept on their theatrical toes throughout." Full Review
“Watching 'Salome,' you understand why it's rarely performed. That doesn't mean Rutherford's new English translation is without merit...At times, the action intoxicates even as it horrifies. Several scenes are too long — Salome’s dance...is initially discomforting and intimate, though the moment’s power fades the longer it lingers...'Salome' acts as a cautionary tale about the ruthlessness of people and the easy acceptance of horrific acts." Full Review
"'Salomé' is an underproduced play and deserves a thoughtful revival, one that in many ways could resemble M-34's. But it would need a stronger directorial voice, one capable of bringing dynamism and bold but clear choices to the show." Full Review
See it if you would like to experience a stellar production of a beautiful, notorious play not often performed.
Don't see it if you are in the mood for a kitchen sink drama: this is poetic, biblical, reaches for the moon—& actually catches it!
See it if You’re looking for an abstract, visceral, physical rendition of Oscar Wilde’s play. Theres much vigor and passion.
Don't see it if You really wanted to see a revival of a golden age musical. Or if you don’t like nudity ..or swearing ..or political commentary.
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