Performance diary: 3 KINDS OF EXILE

June 6, 2013

3 kinds of exile
June 2 –
You never know what you’re going to get with a new John Guare play. It’s never something generic. His brain is a repository of amazing stories, so you can count on some fantastic storytelling. 3 Kinds of Exile, his new show at Atlantic Theater Company, consists of three vignettes about European artists who left their homelands, each told in a different theatrical style. “Karel” is a monologue, performed by Martin Moran, who’s famous for his own solo shows (The Tricky Part, All the Rage), that asks “How much of your life have you made up?” It is a story within a story (about Karel Reisz, the Czech-born film director who staged Guare’s play Gardenia for Manhattan Theatre Club), with an O. Henry twist at the end. “Elzbieta Erased” is a duet performed by Guare himself with Omar Sangare, an actor who played young Paul in the Polish production of Six Degrees of Separation – together they tell the intricate, fabulous, sad story of Elzbieta Czyzewska, the actress famous in Poland who left when she married American journalist David Halberstam and almost never acted again. (In Ivo van Hove’s production of Hedda Gabler starring Elizabeth Marvel at New York Theater Workshop, she played the maid, sitting onstage smoking furiously the whole time and saying virtually nothing.)  “Funiage” uses nine actors to give a condensed biography of Witold Gombrowicz, a critically respected Polish writer (played by David Pittu) who spent most of his career living and working in Argentina. It’s a nutty chunk of theater, well-staged by Neil Pepe and worth seeing.

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