Thursday, April 21, 2011

Was it Worth It?

I received a comment on my previous post that Sleep No More is worth every penny and I have to agree—it was every bit as excellent as the show in Boston. It's well-performed and beautifully designed and directed. As I'd hoped I would, I even managed to find some scenes I'd missed the first time.

While Catherine and I were able to stay together throughout the Boston event, we were immediately separated here: we were split up into different groups by playing cards that we drew at the beginning of the evening and my group entered before hers. As in Boston, we were given masks that we had to wear throughout the event. By accident, the elevator dropped me off very near to the Ball Room—a central location for the big scenes in the production—so I was able to associate the other spaces on that floor in relation to it; as anyone who has seen the show will tell you, that information is incredibly useful. The first scene that I saw was Duncan in his chamber, preparing for bed—a scene I'd thoroughly enjoyed in Boston. I didn't experience the incredible tension in the scene that I had before—and not just because I knew what was coming: I'd known that then, of course. More likely, I think it took me a little while to stop comparing this production to the previous one and allow myself to be immersed in what was happening around me.

The installations on the upper floors of the space (there are five) are amazingly well-designed and the more labyrinthine space in Chelsea makes the exploration of the rooms more complicated which actually makes it more enjoyable (the architecture of the Boston school building defined that event as each floor was, essentially, a series of rooms off a central hallway). The audience on the night we attended were incredibly bold—I saw many more people rummaging through drawers and closests and leafing through the documents left on desktops. The performers all do an excellent job—I was especially glad I got to be in the room with the witches as they prophesied to Macbeth his coming triumphs and his ultimate fate: it was a frenzy of strobe lighting, athletic dancing and terrifyingly erotic imagery. I'm pretty sure it was in this place that I got hit with the drop of blood I found on my mask at the end of the evening.

We had gone to see the show with a group of our theater friends, none of whom had the seen the show before. The discussions in the restaurant afterward were among the more enthusiastic and excited that I've had in a long time. We'd all seen the same show and yet so many of our descriptions were interrupted by a disappointed cry of, "Oh, I missed that!" from one of the others.

The show has been extended through June 25 so if you have the opportunity (and the scratch), I'd definitely recommend seeing it.

Photo: Yaniv Schulman

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