Thursday, November 11, 2010

Review: The Magic Flute

TARGET MARGIN THEATER LAB
at the Brick
THE MAGIC FLUTE
upcoming performances:
Thursday through Saturday at 8PM
Sunday at 7 PM

I've already sung Kate Marvin's paean's once, but it's time for me to do it again. As part of Target Margin Theater's Laboratory, Kate has directed (I believe for the first time?) Mozart's Magic Flute. And you should go see it.

WHAT HAPPENED?
Ah jeez. Usually this is the easy part where I reduce the show I've seen to some easily followed description. Really, what this Magic Flute was was a lot of genius put in a box and shaken up. Like a crash box. Was it an operatic sketch show, with a series of musical gags and dance comedy performances? Was it a free-association dream of what Mozart's opera could be if you did it today?

I really don't have any idea. Which brings me to my next point:

I REALLY DON'T HAVE ANY IDEA
The great thing about this Magic Flute is that it is so damn entertaining and moving that you're free to not know. Particularly for me, with my "Pragmatism" and my "Critical Analysis" and my needing to know things about theater, I've gotten used to understanding everything. It's incredible hubris, and I'm incredibly thankful that I was given the opportunity to let go.

IT WAS HILARIOUS
John Kurzynowski carries the comedic show on his back. Whether he's hamming up a German accent or silently and seriously riding It's A Small World with Disney Land ears, you can just watch him pour every bit of his soul into making you laugh. Whether it's an over-the-top hilarious sketch, or just a tiny detail -- someone "tuning" a bottle full of water at the top of the show -- the hilarity is heightened because there's no warning, it side-swipes you when you're not looking for it.

IT WAS BEAUTIFUL
But the hilarity was there really to buy your presence, to set up a world so that it could be stripped away. By the end, the theater itself is drained away and it only leaves the beauty of Kate Marvin and Diana Konopka's musico-auditory experience, and the simple and stunning visual lighting design of Natalie Robin.

NO, SERIOUSLY, WHAT HAPPENED?
I should probably be writing a more coherent review, but honestly I don't know how coherent my experience was. Somewhere towards the end, when there was nothing but a beautiful sea of lights and the musico-auditory experience, I nearly burst into tears. I have no idea why or how. It was a beautiful dream of music, and I followed it and lived it wholly. It broke me on a level I don't understand.

ALL I CAN TELL YOU IS THIS
You need to go see it and hear it for yourself. I was left more than speechless, I was wordless. I had nothing but pure experience. And it may be the first time that I understood what Opera used to mean.

(Disclaimer: Hey, guess what FCC? I paid for my own damn tickets this time!)

2 comments:

jackharris said...

BRAVO Kate Marvin !!!

Laura Harrington said...

Wow wow wow. How I wish I had seen this!
Brava! Kate!!!