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Syracuse Stage's 'Stupid F—ing Bird': An exercise in theater awareness (Review)



Titles can now and again attract or repel, and more ceaselessly than now not, opinions will be in line with person prejudices fairly than on what could be On The coronary heart of the matter.

At The coronary heart of Syracuse Stage’s present presentation (The Woolly Immense Theatre Company’s production of Aaron Posner’s “Silly F***ing Chicken” directed, by means of Howard Shalwitz) is a “form of” adaptation of Anton Chekhov’s “The Seagull”, a late-nineteenth century play that broke new ground in theater productions for its trustworthy character portrayals and practical questioning of human motivations.

This is not a brand new try at Chekhov’s play, neither is it a satire of Russian theater within the Nineteenth century. Alternatively, making use of Chekhov’s persona “types” and behaviors, Posner creates an extraordinarily modern stage “world” where characters exist in some kind of duel truth where they perform as both characters in a play and actors with actual lives. It’s A Bit laborious to observe at times with feedback to and from the audience whizzing during the theater, infrequently at breakneck speed, nevertheless it’s no longer without rewards within the type of philosophical posturing about “depressing existence” on one hand and some head-nodding, comic unencumber on the opposite.

There are seven actors in the ensemble with names that Somewhat mirror these of Chekhov’s “Seagull”, however the attitudes, commentaries, costumes and up to date musical interludes are about as some distance from the 19th century Alexandrinsky Theatre in St. Petersburg as you can get.

When Conrad (Ian Holcomb), the tortured playwright, pronounces the need for new expression in theater, we’re reminded of Chekhov’s own creative mission, however it isn’t requisite knowledge, regardless of the apparent, repetitive silk screenings of Chekhov’s “head shot” on the again wall of the set.

Mash (Kimberly Gilbert) who suffers from unrequited love (from Conrad) and the general weight of the sector, confides in Dev (Darius Pierce), who suffers from unrequited love from Mash, that the sector is disappointing at very best. Interesting existential musings occur mostly thru suave lyrics accompanied by way of some very capable activates her ukulele. Later within the play, there is a well completed duo by means of the 2 actors with Pierce plucking a bass guitar as back-as much as Gilbert’s candy vocals and ukulele strums.

When Nina (Katie deBuys), Conrad’s girlfriend and aspiring actress, gives a outside backyard Efficiency of Conrad’s latest creation for family and friends, we are offered to the criticism, chew, and normal snarkiness of Conrad’s mom, Emma (Kate Eastwood Norris), herself a well-known actress. Her consistent badgering and self-serving commentary additional drives Conrad into disappointment as he mounts an effort with a brand new play, “Silly F***ing Fowl”.

Emma’s dalliance with Trigorin (Cody Nickell), a well-known creator, is additional torture for Conrad with a few implications of a Hamlet-like obstacle that’s rarely hidden with using a number of items of dialogue from Shakespeare’s tortured soul.

Lastly, Eugene Sorn (Rick Foucheux), a doctor and Conrad’s uncle, appears a steadying power in the Domestic until his revealing soliloquy in the kitchen scene (the most Attention-grabbing of the three scenes) late in Act II. My simplest question regarding this portrayal is his seeming bodily degeneration between Acts II and III after they rejoice his 60th birthday. Even Supposing some years have handed between the two acts, he is either incapacitated, and that i may have ignored that, or In All Probability he is being performed as a 19th-century 60-year-outdated. In Spite Of Everything, his movements appear method too infirm for a brand new 60-year-previous.

If You like your dramas to unfold with straight-forward explication with backstory and the accumulation of occasions and personality reactions taking place in “real” time and location, then you might be in for a totally different expertise. With actors ceaselessly breaking personality for commentary, suggestions, induced and unprompted, from the target audience, and other a lot of fractures in theater’s sacred “fourth wall”, dramatic illusions just about exit the window in lieu of “here and now” experiences and reflections. As I sat there, I Couldn’t help occupied with Woody Allen’s 1985 movie “The Red Rose of Cairo” when characters stroll out of the film-inside-the-film into the actual world of the target market. Most Likely this idea will provide some semblance of expectation.

There are three assorted settings within the play separated by means of an intermission between Acts I and II and a shorter “interlude”, in low light, whereby we witness the cleverness of Misha Kachman’s at hand, modular set design as stage fingers, outfitted in black, move themselves and the set with measured, seemingly choreographed, actions to set the stage for Act III. This “behind the scenes” glimpse seems part of the entire experience, again, reminding us of the dissolution of phantasm for the sake of theater reflecting fact, of which, I’m sure, Chekhov would more than likely approve.

the details
Length of Efficiency: Two hours, 35 minutes, together with a 15-minute intermission.
Attendance: Relatively in need of capability on a cold, opening night time.
Household Guide: Liberal use of the “F-phrase” in all its components of speech. Mature excessive schoolers, concerned about unconventional theater and those of us who like edgier fare will enjoy.
Information: Syracuse Stage gifts the Woolly Big Theatre Company manufacturing of “Silly F***ing Fowl”, a “kind of” adaptation of Chekhov’s “The Seagull” from January 20 via February 7, 2016 On The Archbold Theater of Syracuse Stage, 820 East Genesee St., Syracuse. For tickets, instances, different data: 315-443-3275 and www.SyracuseStage.org.

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