Monday, November 12, 2007

Performance Notes: Cymbeline

Lincoln Center, Vivian Beaumont Theater
November 7, 2007
Directed: Mark Lamos
Featuring: Martha Plimpton, Michael Cerveris, Jonathan Cake

* eastern design for britain, reminiscent of tibetan and eastern russian costume/design, with various other asian influences thrown in. lots of frogs used as fasteners, men with fumanchu facial hair and longish hair with braids, clothing fastened on the side. incredibly bright colors (posthumus in purple- royalty. nobility, cymbeline in brown and bluish silver grey, imogen in red/white/pink, queen in bright blue/aqua, cloten in aqua, court in greens/oranges...all very rich)

* costumes and feel of rome much darker, more monochromatic (biochromatic?), blacks and golds, red for war

* set cavernous sries of boxes and frames, elaboratly carved. plays off the box trick, vaguely reminiscent of the casket from snow white (similar themes of evil step mother out to get virtuous step daughter

* show opens with dumb show to illustrate discussion of the two gentlemen (daniel breaker!) cluing us into the situation in britain, very processional, similar to nunn's lear

* ends with prayer circle of peace, jen tepper: "it's like lincoln center is going PEACE AND LOVE GOOD"

* first scene of rome in the bathhouse, roman men half dressed, somewhat salacious (side note: jonathan cake is hot and looks good naked...not all of my notes can be academic!), rise up from the floor and steam (hell? an extreme interpretation, but worth noting at least the possibility)

* posthumus wears costumes from every world we see- britain, rome, wales. ends the play in clothes of wales, the civilized wilderness and home of the lost princes who are the pinnacle of nobility

* imogen wears clothes of britain/wales, wears white immediatly following the bed trick (underlies purity)

* welsh scnic drop bright pastels, vaguely degas feel, contrats rough appearance of the men with a softness and a design recalling culutred western europe

* iachimo half naked again for the bed trick, seems very close to actually assaulting (? a bit strong, better word..) imogen, bed curiously blocked from most of the audience by a canop sheet (thrust stage, i was on a side)

* posthumus' vision done with mardi-gras stilit puppets with a rough, wooden feel...very arts festival. huge, somewhat awkward. looming, as the past? jove (daniel oresekes!) on a huge golden eagle from the ceiling, all shiny and somewhat ridiculous (not the easiest scene in shakespeare to pull off in a non-ludicrous mannor). square of light indicated prison cell, clever trick with the scroll

* only pieces of furniture in the whole play the bed and the box

* dirge for fidele more chanted than sung, odd homosexual/incest vibes from the brothers towards fidele/imogen

* last act played for laughs, cornelius especially...mostly unfunny exept for this part and cloten. audience unresponsive? possibly, but also a production choice

* close of first act washed the stage with stars (fate?) and a western european mural of..gods? angels? somewhat hard to decipher

*michael cervers should never have hair

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