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This is one of those rare shows that not only satisfies any possible theatrical demands, but has you grinning like an idiot and occasionally on the verge of tears, all in two hours. Marketers could bill this show thusly: “You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll launch flatulent balloons before intermission.”. Yes, audience members did launch balloons. But engaging the crowd is just one aspect of how Kneehigh, which also brought the acclaimed “The Wild Bride” to Berkeley Rep last year and earlier this year, concocts its magic. What the company does is collaboratively create an alternate universe for stories like “Tristan and Yseult” to live. There are no particular rules in this world that marries comedy, theater, acrobatics, live music and — in the case of “Tristan” — an ancient story of star-crossed lovers. A young princess, Yseult (Patrycja Kujawska) is brought to King Mark of Cornwall (Mike Shepherd) by his minion, Tristan (Andrew Durand) to be the king’s bride. Naturally, Yseult and Tristan fall in love by the time they get to the king, thus creating a love triangle and big trouble with the king.
We’ve seen this sort of story a million times, But here, it is only the beginning of the show, It is embellished, decorated, gilded, wallpapered, flashed back, filled with a joyous array of music, sung, danced and basically dolled up as your ticket to a first-class flight of fancy, You watch this thing for 10 minutes and feel you are seriously lacking in the innovation department, This group, led by artistic director Emma Rice, makes you bloch elegance pointe shoe feel as if the performers are making it all up on the spot, doing whatever crosses their minds..
However the piece has been carefully developed by Rice and her cast, who rehearse the show not with a written script, but an idea of where the story goes and what will happen along the way. Just how the cast gets there and what they do along the way is conceived during rehearsals, and based on the particular talents of the cast members. As Yseult, Kujawska plays the violin, not because it’s part of the story, but because she can. She also has considerable experience in physical theater, cabaret and dance — and stunningly uses each of these talents in the show.
Durand has considerable movement and acting experience, with stints in “Warhorse” and “Spring Awakening” on Broadway, He blends exceedingly well with Kujawska as they create their heartbreaking love story over the course of the evening, The show is set not in the Cornwall countryside, but in a lonely hearts nightclub, where the denizens decry their failure to find love, The club, placed on a small stand above the visually captivating set, creates a home for a small, versatile group of musicians who bloch elegance pointe shoe enhance the story, The performers, directed by Ian Ross, have little trouble moving convincingly between classical, jazz, show-tune, big band and rock music, And they are fronted by Whitehands (Carly Bawden), who sings, narrates and finally emerges as part of the story, But those who caught her singing the Patsy Cline hit “Crazy” before the show probably wouldn’t mind spending a full evening just watching her perform..
One of Italy’s most impressive contemporary filmmakers, Sorrentino has a superb sense of how to fill a wide screen, and working with his longtime cinematographer Luca Bigazzi, a wizard with camera movement, produce visuals that display the intoxicating richness of color 35-millimeter film in a way few contemporary ventures can match. But because Sorrentino is reunited as well with his signature actor, the masterful Toni Servillo, it’s a given that ideas and emotions will be as important here as the images.
What Sorrentino (who co-wrote the script with Umberto Contarello) and his team have created is a portrait of a country, a city and, most of all, a suave and unflappable man, That would be Jep Gambardella, Rome’s unofficial “king of the high life” and party chronicler without equal, Talking in voice-over, Jep informs us he came to Rome from Naples when he was 26: “I didn’t want to bloch elegance pointe shoe simply be a socialite, I wanted to become the king of socialites, And I succeeded, I didn’t just want to attend parties, I wanted the power to make them fail.”..
How well Jep succeeded is visible in “The Great Beauty’s” first major set piece, the phantasmagoria of his 65th birthday party set in his showcase apartment overlooking the Colosseum. Jep is glimpsed on the dance floor as radiant with joy as only the man of the moment, the hour and the decade can be. But we soon find out there is more to Jep than we initially understand. Forty years earlier, he wrote a novel, “The Human Apparatus,” that was so perceptive people continue to ask him why he hasn’t written another. His editor, Dadina (Giovanna Vignola), tells him his career has not delivered on the potential his talent promised.
“The Great Beauty” is too sophisticated a film to have Jep dissolve in a welter of regret, Immaculately turned out in a series of suits and sports coats, Jep continues to experience the pull of his accustomed world, but he starts to feel as well that he no longer wants to do things he doesn’t want to do, More than that, after hearing some startling news that recalls his first love affair, Jep starts to think about larger questions, He tries to decide what bloch elegance pointe shoe of value has mattered to him in his life, and whether that can still matter again..