Home
 
Choose Your City
Change City

Two diaries enthrall on city stages

Two of the finest actors on the planet now ply their trade in local theaters, in meaty roles that devolve from comedy to madness.

Two of the finest actors on the planet now ply their trade in local theaters, in meaty roles that devolve from comedy to madness.

In Brooklyn, the production of Gogol’s 1853 story “The Diary of a Madman,” by Sydney’s Belvoir Street Theatre, turns into a two-hander for Geoffrey Rush and young Yael Stone. Set in a leaky garret in czarist Russia, it chronicles the descent of a harassed civil servant into heartbreaking psychosis. Supported by Alan John’s music, Rush comes apart in a most authentic way, shedding affectation along with his clothing. The run is sold out, but it’s worth a stab to find a ticket.

Hell’s Kitchen is the perfect location for the Wooster Group’s version of Tennessee Williams’ “Vieux Carre.” An adaptation of a late work by the playwright whose centennial we’re celebrating, it features the remarkable Scott Shepherd as two deteriorating men in a New Orleans boardinghouse similar to one where Williams lived in the 1930s.

The stage is cluttered with stuff. Ari Fliakos plays a terrified gay writer who comes of age in this chaotic environment, learning to feel and to listen. Director Elizabeth LeCompte pulls out all the stops: As the flighty, tubercular Nightingale, Shepherd sports a huge dildo poking through his kimono; as Tye McCool, a junkie, he’s an arrogant hustler. Kate Valk plays both the mad landlady and a displaced New Yorker with a terminal illness. Amidst all this decay, Fliakos as “The Writer” finds his voice. It’s brilliant.

‘The Diary of a Madman’
Through March 12
BAM Harvey Theater
651 Fulton St.
$25-$95, 718-636-4100
www.bam.org

‘Vieux Carre’
Through March 13
Baryshnikov Arts Center
450 W. 37th St.
$20-$65, 212-868-4444
www.smarttix.com

 
Consider AlsoFurther Articles