Ghost Light

Theater, Interactive
3 out of 5 stars

Time Out says

3 out of 5 stars

Theater review by Adam Feldman

Third Rail Projects’ latest immersive production, a wistful collage on themes of supernatural theater lore, is staged in the Claire Tow Theater, one of the city’s shiniest new venues—as though the very act of putting on a show, no matter where, summoned theater ghosts like gypsy moths to a flame. Divided into small groups, the audience travels through multiple backstage areas, watching a succession of scenes that glance on apparitions, superstitions, the ephemerality of performance. It’s a theater-people version of a Halloween haunted house.

There are many captivating sequences in Ghost Light’s mix, especially those we watch from some distance: a voyeuristic look down a stairwell at an actress writhing and retching from poison; a louche party staged in reverse; a bravura hallway farce of preshow preparation and slamming dressing-room doors. But the writing and choreography of the constituent parts lean toward the generic—a mash-up of Shakespeare, an idea of a longing pas de deux—and the language is often too stiff to be delivered conversationally at close range.

Enjoyable as it is to scope the bowels of the Tow, one misses the moments of one-on-one connection that made Third Rail’s Then She Fell and The Grand Paradise, at their best, more personal and distinctive. Still, Ghost Light, directed by Zach Morris and Jennine Willett, is a hugely ambitious undertaking and a flat-out wonder of coordination. Even when it creaks a bit, you have to admire the spirit.

Claire Tow Theater at Lincoln Center (Off Broadway). By Zach Morris. Directed by Morris and Jennine Willett. With ensemble cast. Running time: 2hrs 10mins. No intermission. Through Aug 6.

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Event website:
Event phone: 212-239-6200
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