Theatre Mirror Reviews - "Look and LONG --- A Gertrude Stein Miscellany"

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note: entire contents copyright 2009 by Larry Stark

Look And Long
A Gertrude Stein Miscellany

Conceived and Directed by Matthew Woods
Created by the Ensemble

Sets, Costumes, Props prepared by
Ariana Goterch, Tyler Peck, Matthew Woods and
The Ensemble
Production Assistant & Understudy Tyler Peck
Assistant Director, Stage Manager Ariana Gotterch

The Ensemble

Apparition, Ellen & etc............................Veronica Barron
Johnnie, Kit Raccoon, Samuel, Oliver & etc............Theo Goodell
Jimmie, Philip Hall, Sylvestre, Silly & etc...James Patrick Nelson
Willie Caesar, Jenny, Susie & etc................Aimee Rose Hanger
Lucy Willow, Helen, Muriel & etc........................Kiki Samko

In years and decades to come, the Imaginary Beasts will become legendary here in Boston for the unique approach they take to theater. Physical movement and whimsey are their stock-in-trade, though they play with words as well --- yet it would be odd to pretend they begin with "a script". Every presentation is different, even the performers are different, though stylistically similar --- though the Artistic Director Matthew Woods could be the reason so many different people working with such different writers as Federico Garcia-Lorca, Lewis Carroll, or --- in this case --- Gertrude Stein end up with such delightfully similar shows.

What do they do? Okay, this show opens with a young woman lying back with an infant cradled in her arms, her smiling, loving cheek pressed against it as she caresses it, raises it, puts it carefully to bed before her --- except it's not really a baby. It's Her Own Right Foot. In another bit --- the Beasts usually toss together any nomber of short bits --- two young men do a mirror-image routine. I don't mean a Marx-Brothers mime bit; I mean it's as if one of them pressed his cheek against the mirror and the other is his image. There's a woman who wants to be a queen, is a queen, but has no crown; two almost identical kings (who DO have crowns, sort-of) want to marry her to make her a queen but fight and just happen to murder each other. There's a little "Ten Little Indians" mystery in which Everyone ends up a victim in the end. There is dance, and a rope making a circle that everyone is careful NOT to step out of, and funny gymnastic feats and, as I said, physical movement and frivolity galore.

The Beasts are Not At All "an acquired taste"; to see them is to adore them. And you have another week-end, don't you? Then you can be part of their legend....


"Look and Long --- A Gertrude Stein Miscellany" (19 March - 4 April)
Boston Center for the Arts, 527 Tremont Street, BOSTON, MA

THE THEATER MIRROR, New England's LIVE Theater Guide