Dark Hollow: An Appalachian Woyzeck

Photograph: Louis Chan
On the dimly lit stage of Theatre 80, a band of folk musicians dives into traditional gospel song “John the Revelator” while a hellfire-and-brimstone baptism takes place. This is just one of several memorable scenes in Elizabeth Chaney's powerful, haunting adaptation of Georg Büchner's 19th-century expressionist drama Woyzeck. Eternal salvation, economic exploitation and social disadvantage are still the main themes in Chaney's version, which is set in an impoverished mountain community during the Great Depression. Woyzeck (Kevin Kash) is a well-meaning but deeply tormented soldier plagued by apocalyptic visions; verbally abused by his superiors (a sergeant and the army doctor), he breaks under the strain and brutally murders his unfaithful girlfriend, Mary (Danyel Fulton). The Appalachian twist on this dark social commentary is best expressed through the use of American roots music scattered throughout the drama, including spiritual-style songs and traditional folk ditties like “Rye Whiskey” (performed by the cast with a delightful lack of polish). Rowdy soldiers, ragamuffin townswomen and plenty of onstage boozing provide comedy that balances the harrowing weight of the story. (Visit our Fringe Festival page for more reviews, and fringenyc.org for more information.)—Sarah Hucal
Event phone: 212-388-0388
Event website: http://theatre80.net
LiveReviews|0
1 person listening