Seeing is believing.
Fri Jan 1 2010
TALE SPIN Greenspan creates a whole universe from mere words.
Time Out Ratings :<strong>Rating: </strong>5/5
In a culture as supersaturated with digital eye candy as ours, David Greenspan’s solo coup The Myopia is nothing short of revolutionary. Greenspan devotees know already that he is a one-man cabinet of wonders, voice fluting up from tenor to falsetto, delicate hands slicing and molding the air as if it were an endless supply of clay, while he navigates 20 characters and half a dozen genres with quicksilver aplomb. And he does it without special lighting or sound effects or even leaving his chair. Sounds low on visual thrills? Then you don’t know how to see.
Teaching us to how to perceive anew seems to be one of the goals of The Myopia (last seen at the Ohio Theatre in 2003 and now revived Off Broadway by the heroic Foundry Theatre). In this bravura interlocking suite of narratives, baroque stage directions are recited—along with authorial asides on the phenomenology of theater imagery and the difference between acting and being. The main story line (loosely) concerns the Rapunzel-like giant Koreen, freed from her tower by the homely suitor Febus, and their miserable marriage. Scenes from an unspecified future depict the couple’s offspring, Barclay, represented by “an illuminated globe of singularly ocular appearance.” Threaded through this surreal domestic drama are scenes from a musical about our 29th President, Warren G. Harding. Somehow, Greenspan (tightly directed by Brian Mertes on a fittingly neutral surface created by Peter Ksander) crams in glosses on Aristotle, Gertrude Stein and a Carol Channing imitation.
You would be hard-pressed to find such a unique mixture of camp and postmodern theory, but then, no one is like Greenspan. His captivating, surgically precise “narratage” makes passages of daunting opacity shine and dense concepts open like bumblebee-ready flowers. Anybody can build a stage picture, but few can so bedazzle the mind’s eye.—David Cote
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