Friday, Oct 24, 2014
 
search SGN
SERVING SEATTLE AND THE PACIFIC NORTHWEST FOR 40 YEARS!

click to visit advertiser's website


Javascript DHTML Drop Down Menu Powered by dhtml-menu-builder.com

Last Weeks Edition
   
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website




 

 
 

 

 

[Valid RSS]

click to go to advertisers website
to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, February 21 2014 - Volume 42 Issue 08
Venus in Fur electrifying
Arts & Entertainment
ALL STORIES
  next story
Venus in Fur electrifying

by Miryam Gordon - SGN A&E Writer

VENUS IN FUR SEATTLE REPERTORY THEATRE Through March 9

So, an actress walks into an audition late. Very late. And the director/adapter is tired and frustrated, having auditioned dozens, he lets us know, DOZENS of young women, who can't even begin to speak the language of his play. His masterpiece is an adaptation of an 1870 novel, Venus in Furs, by Leopold von Sacher-Masoch. But the actress dispenses with the novel as 'S&M porn,' offhandedly, challenging and taunting the director to allow her to audition, since she's already there.

Thus begins Venus in Fur, by David Ives, the latest production at Seattle Repertory Theatre, and a co-production with Arizona Theatre Company. Michael Tisdale and Gillian Williams, two actors from ATC, and director Shana Cooper mount this electrifying, titillating, challenging, funny, whiplashing, role-reversing, sexuality-exploring one-act.

The somewhat lengthy (100 plus) minute one-act is a fast-paced exploration of both the subject of the novel, masochistic relationships (named after author Sacher-Masoch), and who's on top. Is it the slave or the master? Is a woman by definition the weaker sex, or does the man give over to serve the woman?

What makes this play particularly fun is the lightning fast switches from modern vernacular and slang back to 18th Century refined speech. Williams is fantastically good at the minute moments of back-and-forth, with a faint New Yorkese, and brash American style, giving way in parts of seconds back to a pseudo-British refinement.

Tisdale starts out promisingly, but does not plant himself firmly enough in the 'asshole' category to hang on to his ascendance in the face of Williams' immediate disarmament. He does a good job, but when he has to change to a certain submission, the change is undercut by too much passivity at the beginning.

David Ives' play is very well written and very fun, particularly at the beginning, though he doesn't end up challenging the male/female relationship nearly as much as he promises. And the ending seems like he decided he had written a long-enough play and had to finish it somehow.

The very first sentences Ives has the man say are completely unbelievable to me: that he couldn't find any good female actors. Ives may not know that there are dozens of fantastic female actors for every male, because so many women develop theatrical skills for so few female parts! So, it undercuts his understanding of women, and as the play goes along, so do his postulates for feminine power.

Director Shana Cooper plainly revels in the strength of the female character, but unfortunately doesn't help her create levels of intimacy or a real sexual chemistry with her male counterpoint, and therefore the production misses any highs or lows. The first half of the play feels fun and involving, but it flags and then stays about the same for the last half.

Ives' decision to transform the female into an archetype (at the end) seems in a perverse way to suggest he is not at all comfortable with real human female sexuality. In a battle of sexual power, only a Goddess can win over a lowly man, not a real woman. And in that dilemma, Ives fails to illuminate anything useful or new about our sexual lives.

The play is smart enough, then, to end up disappointing. Both a testament to and a failure of a set up that has promise, but does not cut through the musty ideas of female sexuality that continue to hamper us in the rest of life.

For more information, go to www.seattlerep.org or call 206-443-2222. Discuss your opinions with sgncritic@gmail.com or go to www.facebook.com/SeattleTheaterWriters.

Tell a friend:

Share on Facebook  Share on Facebook

Post to MySpace!Share on MySpace!

    Share on Delicious

Share on StumbleUpon!

Paul Simon and Sting create magic together
------------------------------
Oscars 2014: Watch the awards at Purr on March 2
------------------------------
Book-It's Frankenstein tells the real story
------------------------------
Venus in Fur electrifying
------------------------------
Review of Marisol
------------------------------
Tenth Annual Golden Crown Literary Conference to be held in Portland this summer
------------------------------
The King's Singers in concert
------------------------------
Tori Amos unveils Seattle concert date
------------------------------
How a marriage saved a Gay man's life
------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------
Ellen Page Joins HRCF's Time to Thrive Conference
------------------------------
Northwest News
------------------------------
LETTERS
------------------------------
A reunited Nickel Creek to play Paramount Theatre
------------------------------
Stranger by the Lake: An interview with Alain Guiraudie
------------------------------
Fiery Pompeii a volcanic star-crossed love story
------------------------------
Miyazaki's The Wind Rises a soaring tale of imagination, heartbreak and love
------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

click to visit advertiser's website

click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
Seattle Gay Blog post your own information on
the Seattle Gay Blog
 

gay news feeds gay news readers gay rss gay
http://sgn.org/rss.xml | what is RSS? | Add to Google use Google to set up your RSS feed
SGN Calendar For Mobile Phones http://sgn.org/rssCalendarMobile.xml
SGN Calendar http://sgn.org/rssCalendar.xml

Seattle Gay News - SGN
1605 12 Ave., Ste. 31
Seattle, WA 98122

Phone 206-324-4297
Fax 206-322-7188

email: sgn2@sgn.org
website suggestions: web@sgn.org

copyright Seattle Gay News - DigitalTeamWorks 2013

USA Gay News American News American Gay News USA American Gay News United States American Lesbian News USA American Lesbian News United States USA News
Pacific Northwest News in Seattle News in Washington State News