According to Lincoln Center's new LCT3 project at its slogan, it takes "New Audiences for New Artists." It also takes new critics, hence the establishment of Theater Talk's New Theater Corps in 2005, a way for up-and-coming theater writers and eager new theatergoers to get exposure to the ever-growing theater scene in New York City. Writers for the New Theater Corps are given the opportunity to immerse themselves in the off-off and off-Broadway theater scene, learning and giving back high-quality reviews at the same time. Driven by a passion and love of the arts, the New Theater Corps aims to identify, support, and grow the arts community, one show and one person at a time.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Fringe/Dante's Divina Commedia-Inferno

Reviewed by Cindy Pierre

Black Moon Theatre Company's production of Dante's Divina Commedia-Inferno is an innovative, visually stunning and audibly moving take on the Italian poet's masterpiece. Unfortunately, it's also entirely in Italian—wait, what? Presented as a one-man show with English title cards that are like bad Cliffs Notes to the text, this crash course through the nine circles of Hell may not always be comprehensible, but its boldness and passion are always clear.

The show opens with Aminda Asher's superb cello. As the sole musician, Asher not only provides the haunting songs for the journey, but also manipulates her instrument to simulate the cries of the lost souls. Her music goes hand-in-hand with the projection of India Evans' erotic and demonic artwork. As the collage pans slowly before our eyes and in front of the performers, we take the same steps that Alessio Bordoni takes as Dante, descending further and further into a chasm of pain and hopelessness because Rene Migliaccio's direction keeps us rapt with empathy. And though the images compete against Bordoni for our attention, he manages to stir emotion in us… when he's not acting hysterically.

It’s a risky move to perform Inferno in Italian (which may explain why that little fact isn’t mentioned anywhere except for Black Moon's website) and as a solo show. But if you're well-versed in Dante’s original and like non-traditional takes on the classics, you may not get lost in translation…and may not mind so much even if you do.

Dante's Divina Commedia-Inferno (Running time: 1 Hour)
HERE Arts Center-Mainstage Theater (145 Sixth Avenue, enter on Dominick, one block south of Spring
Tickets: $15.

No comments: