12.29.2008

Bring Him Home

I saw Signature Theater's production of Les Miserables yesterday, and it is very good. I think people will find it particularly affecting if they have seen a fully Broadway style production. People much smarter than me have already written about it, but let me add two things that I liked.

First, the intimate staging gives a "Do You Hear the People Sing?" a nice accusatory feeling. The performers are really close to everyone in the audience, and look directly at the audience throughout the performance. When I have seen this number in traditional performances, the song has inviting feel, sort of "come on down and join us." In this production it has a "look at all of this tragedy, what are YOU going to do about it." I like that switch.

Second. The barricades, or at least part of them, are always on the stage reminding you of the sacrifice of the students either to come, or that has happened. It looms over the whole production.

On a larger point. It seems like Washington theater is on the rise. Companies like Arena Stage, Wooly Mammoth, Synetic, and Signature are staging good, interesting works. I have read that Washington has become/is becoming a major theater city. Kriston tells me that Washington has a thriving and important art scene, one of the better in the countries, and you know that I am a fan of DC music.

I am predicting that in a year the New York Times will write one of those irritating "look, things sometimes happen outside of our city" articles about DC theater/art scene. They will attribute the increase in quality to Obama.

Speaking of local music. Le Loup just did a Daytrotter session that you should download.

1 comment: