a study in extremes

Edgar Oliver

First night of APAP season brought a study in extremes. The first show we saw, HUSBANDS, was a huge sprawling videotastic study in staged film. I’m not going to go to town on it but I was so disenchanted that I did not stay for the second half – and judging from the exodus at intermission I was not alone. I’m not averse to huge sprawling multimedia epics but this was just, unnecessary. Let’s just say that last year’s sprawling multimedia Cassavates spectacle at BAM – Ivo Van Hove’s Opening Night – was a wonderful, rich, subtle exploration and a deeply rewarding experience. This production of HUSBANDS was not.

So we were invited to head over to PS122 to see Edgar Oliver’s absolutely mesmerizing and delightful East 10th St: Self Portrait with Empty House. Just a man on a stage with no props, two lights and a single sound cue. A man with a beautiful voice and a gothic imagination, a gift for painterly wordsmithing and an eye for the macabre. Oliver is an enchanting storyteller and the hour (barely) that you spend with him is like reading a Flannery O’Connor or Truman Capote short story. Simply great theater. If part of theater is simply enjoying the company of the person onstage, well, I could have sat there listening to Edgar Oliver all night.

Tomorrow: L’effet de Serge at 3LD.

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