Twyla Tharp 50 Years

 

gay wwwTwyla Tharp and Three Dances
by Wickham Boyle
Contributor
Tuesday Jul 12, 2016
Twyla Tharp is a 73-year-old pixie with lots of attitude who has shaped the flow and flux of modern dance. Tharp began her dance career in 1965 spinning a yo-yo while arched forward like a ski jumper, in her first piece, called “Tank Dive.” It was performed at Hunter College after her graduation from Barnard College. 2016 marks her fiftieth anniversary of dancing, choreographing and the Joyce Theater is part of a global celebration of her work.

Although raised in the Midwest and California, Tharp is a citizen of the world who has created work that shakes audiences, reviewers, fans and foes to their core. Tharp created dances to “Sinatra on Broadway,” and work for classic ballet companies worldwide. Her 1973 work “Deuce Coupe” is heralded as the first to mix modern and classical dance moves all to the beat and blare of the Beach Boys. Her Broadway musicals include “Movin Out,” “Come Fly Away,” and her choreography electrifies films like “Hair,” “Amadeus,” and “White Nights.”

She has written three books, her 2003 book, “The Creative Habit: Learn It and Use It for Life.” provides life skills for the creative outlaw. She is a mother, a grandmother and the mother hen to many dancers who have passed through her tutelage and heard her roar, and rage. Until July 23 audiences can thrill to “Twyla Tharp and Three Dances,” three very different Tharp dances from favorites to a premiere.

Twyla Tharp Dance in 'Brahms Paganini'

Twyla Tharp Dance in ‘Brahms Paganini’ 

 

Tharp has joked that she was named for a champion hog caller and her 1976 piece called “Country Dances” seems to hearken to a county fair where four dancers jockey, arabesque and joke wildly to country music like “Took My Gal A’Walkin,” and “Rat Cheese under the Hill.” There are seven different, often hilarious songs and dances to tickle the soul. Tharp has a wonderful way of making us laugh at the usual by upending it.

A pas de deux might just as well be two men, women as the duo, or in this case a very tall, elegant, amazing dancer Kaitlyn Gilliland partnering with the hapless John Seyla who seems to be astounded and often wonderfully tricked by moves made by Gilliland, as well as Amy Ruggiero and Eva Trapp. The four are costumed by Santo Loqusato in mock county gear, embroidered shirts, flare skirts and they whirl across the stage, vie for attention or just up and leave the stage and storm off. It is classic Tharp; funny, irreverent and beautifully wrought so that the audience never anticipates the next step or the next giggle.

The second offering, “Beethoven Opus 130” is a New York City premiere; the world bow was June at Saratoga. Here the full company, eight dancers, Matthew Dibble, Kaitlyn Gilliland, Daniel Baker, Ramona Kelly, Amy Ruggiero, Eva Trapp, Nicholas Coppula, and Reed Tankersley take the stage in marvelous Norma Kamali costumes with evocative lights provided by Stephen Terry. This piece is pure elegance and combustible energy.

The dancers take form as twosomes, or as a full flock of black birds flitting and flying across a bare stage. Again it is diva Gilliland who captivates in a stunning way. Even though there are seven other dancers performing with bravura gusto one can not stop watching Gilliland in her flowing tulle with appendages that seem to elongate with every pirouette and grand jete. Here again the partnering morphs and confuses, the classical mixes with the Marx Brothers and everyone is seduced. It shows that Tharp in on point to perfection even as the decades unfold.

The evening’s final piece is “Brahms Paganini” from 1980. Jennifer Tipton’s lights bath the Greek god-like Reed Tankersley in white light as he performs a daunting solo dressed in Ralph Lauren’s pure white trousers and shirt. He spins and leaps pretending to lose his way, only to start and stop and beguile us over and over in the portion entitled Book I.

At moments the audience gasps can be heard as the work becomes acrobatic and then back to endless turns and leaps on and off the wings. He is finally joined by the rest of the company in Book II all performed to “Brahms Variations on a Theme By Paganini Opus 35.”

By the final curtain call the house was on their feet screaming as Twyla Tharp was hauled up onto the stage and lifted as a conquering hero. She proceeded to mug and gracefully bow while grinning ear to ear. A perfect elf who had once again created magic.

“Twyla Tharp and Three Dances” runs through July 23 at The Joyce Theater, 175 Eight Avenue in NYC. For tickets or information, call 212-242-0800 or visit http://www.joyce.org

TURN ME LOOSE: Joe Morton is beyond amazing

http://www.edgemedianetwork.com/entertainment/theatre/reviews//199683

People toss terms around in reviews and at cocktail parties like “tour de force.” It means a magnetizing performance or show, and we are all hungry for it. If you are looking for a show, a performance, an experience that is up front, brilliant and stunningly smart, run to see acting icon Joe Morton in Gretchen Law’s play “Turn Me Loose.”

 

Joe Morton plays Dick Gregory

Joe Morton plays Dick Gregory , Joe Morton IS Dick Gregory  

 

“Turn Me Loose” is the story of comic genius Dick Gregory, the first black stand-up in the ’60s to make white audiences laugh at the absurdity of bigotry. Gregory morphed one of the most successful show business careers of the postwar era into a life of activism, sacrifice and danger alongside Martin Luther King, Medgar Evers and other Civil Rights leaders. Wielding razor-sharp wit, Gregory hacked away at myths about race, poverty, war, and politics.

Joe Morton has gained incredible popularity from his recent work in the television hit “Scandal” however his work and fans span decades from “Brother From Another Planet” until this game changer at the jewel box Westside Theatre. Morton doesn’t play comedic genius and activist Dick Gregory he becomes him. From Gregory’s launch in the ’60s until his work continuing right up until today Morton sweats, and hums, groans, weeps and sings us through not only Richard Claxton Gregory’s life, but also the march of the Civil Rights movement through the election of Barack Obama.

Gregory was brilliant. He had an edgy educated, humor that allowed him to stand up to racists from Alabama during his first gig at the Playboy Club in the early ’60s. Gregory’s introduction, given by the very good actor John Carlin who plays many interstitial roles during the play, says, “You may not like him, but you won’t forget him, Dick Gregory.”

In author Gretchen Law’s play, when Gregory encountered heckling from the audience calling him “Nigger,” Gregory’s response was to tell his audience that in his contract it calls for him to receive an extra $50 every time that epithet is hurled.

The play is set up as a nightclub that spans over 50 decades, it is a solid set by Tony winner Leon Rothenberg and its intimacy encourages the audience to respond from time to time. John Gould Rubin’s direction empowers Morton to own every inch of the stage.

He is engaged in a clubby monologue on a stool, he leaves the stage to sit on the apron, wiping his brow telling the tale of the death of Medgar Evers and his own tiny son. A chilling saga where Gregory unfolds a foreboding of death only to receive a call from his beloved wife Lil, with whom he had 10 children, saying their son Richard has died.

Medgar Evers insisted that Gregory go home to his family and Gregory believes it was his son’s death that saved him from being assassinated, as he was constantly standing by Evers’ side.

It was the great Medgar Evers’ last words that inspired the title of this powerful play. As the time shifts from the 60s to today we learn through comedy and exposition facts like “there are more black men imprisoned today than there were enslaved in 1850.” We are forced to come to recon with the tragic path our country has taken and yet to revel in the way that someone like Dick Gregory can pluck humor from the most terrible situation and let it resonate.

Joe Morton is never off stage and never out of character fro 90 minutes, He is drenched and stooped as an old man and upright and dancing as the spry young Gregory. At the close of this show that takes you see sawing from tears to guffaws the entire audience is on its feet before lights have fully dimmer, and many are screaming for MORE, MORE, MORE!

“Turn Me Loose” runs through July 17 at the Westside Theatre, 407 W. 43rd St. For tickets or information, call 212-239-6200 or visit www.turnmelooseplay.com

When I Was A Girl I Used To Scream and Shout now at Fallen Angels Theater

Entertainment » Theatre
When I Was A Girl I Used To Scream and Shout
by Wickham Boyle
Contributor
Wednesday Apr 20, 2016

Fallen Angel Theater Company was founded in 2003 by actor Aedin Moloney, who shines as the mother Morag in the off- Broadway premier of Sharman MacDonald’s play with the intriguing title of “When I was a Girl I Used to Scream and Shout.”

Fallen Angel Theatre is, according to their mission statement, “the first American company committed to presenting outstanding and dynamic new Irish, American and British plays written by and about women, with the goal of interpreting these plays in a fresh, exciting and commercially viable way for New York audiences.” This company is lauded in the program by Mayor De Blasio and seated behind this reviewer was Mayor Emeritus David Dinkins; quite a political firmament for a tiny theater.

This is a realistic play set on the rocky coast of Scotland in 1983 and it encapsulates so many of the roiling conversations shouted, murmured or even truncated that happen between mother and daughter, and daughter and best friend. The triangle is composed of Mother, played expertly by Moloney, and her daughter Fiona brought to life as an adult, wee child, teen and young woman by the very accomplished Barrie Kreinik. Zoe Watkins brings great zest and humor to the childhood best friend, Vari, now married with three bairns of her own.

The director John Keating and set designer Luke Cantarella have contrived this work so that the shoals of the beach are always visible and this may be the metaphor for this play that is at once beguiling, funny and bitingly acerbic. The beach can be calm, sunny, or the waves can throw any of these women onto the rocks and away from safety, however that is defined.

The vibrant, mutable nature of the relationships in the script are echoed in musical direction and compositions by renowned musician and composer Paddy Moloney, leader of The Chieftains. This is Mr. Moloney’s first collaboration with his daughter Aedin and Fallen Angel Theatre Company.

We see from a series of well crafted, beautifully written scenes that bounce back through time as Morag gets a divorce and she and her daughter toss barbs and treacle back and forth as if it were a badminton match. They cuddle, they fight and they can cut each other to the bone because they have every knife sharpened with history.

They have heard the cries and the sadness and seen the hopes and dreams. This is the life of mothers and daughters. And there is always a “bestie” in the wings waiting with her story and her reflections about what she has observed and learned. In this case Vari is the one Fiona runs to in order to inquire about sex, or when you have a first slimy kiss yet long for a real sweet one.

Author MacDonald is at the top of her game writing women’s truth. The scenes where the girls describe first sex, the weirdness of “his hard thing,” the thrill of a kiss on the ear, the desire for power and even in Fiona’s case the manipulation of getting a country boy, played without guile by Colby Howell, to impregnate you. In this work Fiona gets pregnant as a 15-year-old just to unseat her mother’s second marriage.

As the work opens mother and daughter have gone to a Scottish seaside resort in the town where all the upheaval occurred. Perhaps they are there to finally talk about what transpired half a lifetime ago, or to talk truth about the deep guilt instilled by religion, or perhaps it is a way to start over and forgive. What ensues is a play in two acts that is languid, never rushed and resonates with the powerful ever-vacillating feelings between a mother, and daughter and between friends.

This is a well-polished looking glass held up to complicated women’s lives and it is done with panache, laughter and terrible sadness. The work deserves to be seen and applauded for its honesty and verve and for letting us remember how marvelous and fearful are the many roles women inhabit.

“When I was a Girl I Used to Scream and Shout” runs through May 8 at the Clurman Theatre at Theater Row, 410 West 42 Street. For tickets or information, call 212-239-6200 or visit www.theatrerow.org

Lazarus Rises up Splendidly at NY Theater Workshop By WIckham Boyle

viewimage_story.phpFrom THE EDGE
Tuesday Dec 22, 2015
Read and see photos too
http://www.edgemedianetwork.com/entertainment/theatre/features//190929

Just as the year grinds to a halt and the weather reminds us that major flux abounds in the heavens, we are graced with the New York Theater Workshop’s mind-blowing production of “Lazarus.”

In recent years NYTW has given us panoply of theatrical marvels and now fans of two of the most lauded guardians of the wonderfully perverse and bizarre, David Bowie and Ivo van Hove have united to create a production that defies description and yet rivets audiences.

We are told that Bowie contemplated writing a theater piece for ages and once introduced to Irish wordsmith Enda Walsh, he felt emboldened to co-pen “Lazarus.” This musical evening is replete with wraparound videos by Tal Yarden, undulating dances by Annie-B Parsons and special effects was inspired by Bowie’s 1976 film “The Man Who Fell to Earth.”

This work took its inspiration from a 1963 novel by Walter Tevis by the same name, and featured an alien trapped on earth longing to return to his water-starved planet. The alien is referred to as Newton, perhaps as an homage to the first postulator of the theory of gravity, Sir Isaac.

This alien is Thomas Newton, played with a loose-limbed drunkenness and an “abandon all hope ye who enter here” quality by the wildly talented Michael C Hall. Yes, of “Dexter” fame, but also recently Hall wowed audiences as Hedwig on Broadway. He has now reinvented himself as a man clad in boring beige belting, and crooning with Bowie beauty. Hall fills the theater with a longing and a loss that is as palpable as the scratch and blare of the enormous TV, which on occasion leaps into action spewing images or actual actors onto the proscenium.

The plot is minimal. Newton, the alien, is trapped on earth and stuck in an empty yet opulent apartment with a fridge full of gin and Lucky Charms and a quest for Twinkies. He is stymied by his inability to return to his ET home and the loss of his beloved wife Marylou and their children. He is a wastrel described by his assistant — played with verve, legs for days and a voice to match by Cristin Milioti — as “sorta sad, sorta unknowable in the way that you imagine rich, reclusive, eccentric men to be.”

As the play unfolds many new Bowie songs are sung by the full-throated cast and occasional favorites like “Changes,” “Absolute Beginners” and “The Man Who Sold the World” tickle the memories of Bowie fans, faithful for four decades.

Time is not linear, neither in Bowie’s music, nor in “Lazarus.” Over the course of the play’s two hours, we encounter what may be a few days, or a snippet of a dream that lasted seconds. A chorus of Geisha girls sing and dance, clubgoers gyrate and we meet another lost soul, the “young girl” who is a winsome waif played by Sophia Anne Caruso. Caruso brings hapless positive vibes to a group beset by tragedy, ennui and sodden sadness. She sings with angel pipes and she genuinely loves Newton for his longing and his potential goodness.

Into this black and white world is tossed the marvelous Michael Esper, recently in Sting’s “The last Ship.” Esper plays Valentine, clad in all black to Newton’s beige and the young girl’s pure white. He is evil and enjoys ogling lovers, played by the beautiful, sexy duo of Nicholas Christopher and Lynn Craig, in a club. He palpably lurks to steal their passionate energies and eventually kills the man.

Here I have to digress to extoll the environment of this piece as an integral part of the show. There is nothing superfluous about any image projected, any slashed ray of light, or the open set with its many levels. A sonorous band is housed upstage behind a glass wall, which also allows the cast to wander, to be sucked into space or to yearn for life on, literally, another level or Mars.

The director, Ivo van Hove, who has achieved a vaunted fame, all deserved, has a team of designers with whom he works. This includes his life partner, Jan Versweyveld set and lighting design, Tal Yarden video and An D’Huys, costumes; all of these elements were conceived and executed with stellar perfection. I actually consider the set and light to be additional characters with lives that both enhance the work and have a trajectory all their own.

As we search for meaning as the year slouches to its inevitable end, I think that like in all fairy tales, parables or gospels, we are searching for clues pointing us to where we belong. Where is our true north, our home, our safety and our place to marvel? We are all aliens lurching toward that Eden and the team at NYTW allows us to gasp at another vision of that quest.

“Lazarus” runs through Jan. 20, 2016 at the New York Theatre Workshop, 79 E. Fourth St. in the East Village. For tickets or information, call 212-780-9037 or visit nytw.org

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Neighborhood 3: Requisition of Doom

*published on 23 Nov 2015 in The EDGE

Eric Folks and Madeline Mahoney play father and daughter in 'Neighborhood 3: Requisition of Doom'

Eric Folks and Madeline Mahoney play father and daughter in ‘Neighborhood 3: Requisition of Doom’  

Let me say from the get-go that I am not a fan of video games, but I am a huge fan of the Flea theater in TriBeCa and especially their program to encourage and utilize a young, resident acting troupe called The Bats. With that prejudice out of the way, I attended “Neighborhood 3: Requisition of Doom” with trepidation and left feeling that once again this wonderful theater has a presence and a mission that never fails to, at the very least, shake its audience.

The action takes place on a raked stage evocatively painted to represent gardens and streets, well wrought by designer Simon Harding. This represents a quiet neighborhood ruled with an iron hand by a Neighborhood Association. Here, every aspect of life from lawn height to the position of garden gnomes is tightly regulated.

And yet behind closed doors, the adolescents of Neighborhood 3 are addicted to a video game, which recreates their own geography and personal iconography exactly. The GPS map allows teenagers to battle zombies in their own neighborhood, even in their own houses. Parents try with decreasing success to coax kids from their rooms with cars, hamburgers, interventions and affection; all to no avail.

The play, written with an acid tongue for dialog and great wit by Jennifer Haley, premiered at the Humana Festival in Louisville; this is the New York City debut. It is directed with great aplomb by Joel Schumacher, whose wonderful work we know as a writer on “Car Wash,” “St Elmo’s Fire,” “Flatliners” and a few installments of the “Batman.” As well, he directed a number of episodes of the mega-hit “House of Cards.”

A narrator instructs the players on what to do to achieve maximum success in the level sets each scene. It is exactly like watching the gamers set their sites on getting a grenade, or a money clip or in this case garden shears, or a sugar fix. The teenagers all refer to their parents by their first names and seem unable to recognize the danger in being so detached from the linear world.

There are about eight different scenes or levels each artfully populated by a cast of 16, all excellent. The Flea has a policy of a one-sheet program that only lists the participants so I can’t delineate who played what character. They represent parents and children all involved in an elaborate game both in real life or AWK (away from keyboard) and on screen.

The issues raised by the play seemed terrifying to me as the mother to grown children attempting to tether them back to real life and away from screens of all sizes and ilks. However the very young audience thought that there were moments of grand hilarity.

I know from reading Bruno Bettelheim’s seminal work on childhood and the power of fairy tales, “The Uses of Enchantment,” that it is paramount for little kids to be able to envision killing their mothers or isolating their siblings thus Hansel and Gretel, Cinderella and on and on. Perhaps video games provide the same kind of relief from an unempowered life for whomever plays them.

In “Neighborhood 3,” the Shakespearean contrivance of a play within a play finally unites as the kids reach the final terrifying level and one kid seamlessly segues from ignoring and excoriating his mother to actually murdering her with the hammer that was his final level weapon. We see the massacre in an off-stage shadow and when he returns to his game station he finally breaks down weeping. Curtain.

Again perhaps it is the confluence of slaughters in Paris and Mali, across the Middle East, and in movie theaters and elementary school across America, but playing at this level of violence is not entertaining or diverting to me, but rather a terrifying example of a world gone mad.

I applaud the Flea and the panoply of actors and creative stuff that brought this play to fruition, as many in the audience seemed tickled pink.

“Neighborhood 3: Requisition of Doom” runs through Dec. 20 at The Flea, 41 White Street in New York. For tickets or information, call 212-226-0051 or visit www.theflea.com

The Illusionists — Live on Broadway

*published on 23 Nov 2015 in The EDGE

We all want the holidays to be magical, even if we sometimes balk at the commercialism sewn into every early advertisement and the blaring carols. But there is something to be said for celebrating the darkest time of the year, which was the original druid impetus for a yuletide, equinox celebration and of bringing trees and lights inside. So this year I kicked off the holidays with magic.

I carted my goddaughters, 9 and 7, to the “The Illusionists — Live on Broadway” for a Sunday matinee and we had a rollicking blast. From the moment you enter, the stage is filled with a video of smoke emanating from somewhere marvel filled.

The show has a modern electronic, yet vaudevillian inspiration. There are six magicians, illusionists, ventriloquists, daredevils, conjurers and a futurist. They are all introduced and artfully segued by the MC, Jeff Hobson, who bills himself as the Trickster.

The Trickster tells jokes that make the adults laugh and the kids just see him as silly and over the top with his sequins and platinum hair. And his occasional card tricks keep us occupied while the massive stage at the Neil Simon Theater is constantly transformed. After all fire, cross bows, straitjackets, and dancing girls all must move on and off in order for the next level of wonder to be revealed.

The show runs over two hours and it rarely seems to lag as the acts are interspersed so smoothly by director and creative producer Neil Dorwood. The work of these seven artists, because this really is an artistic pursuit when shown so beautifully, is inspiring. We all gasp and endlessly imagine how did they do every trick.

There is a very scary act by Daredevil, Jonathan Goodwin who is a creative, skilled, and crazy stunt performer. He is an accomplished knife thrower, archer, escape artist, fakir, martial artist, free diver and free climber. Goodwin is not a magician, but he left us breathless. So much so that when he lit himself on fire while inverted and trapped in a straitjacket, I turned to the older girl and said “I cant look.” She responded that she was sure he had done this before. Ahhh, jaded youth.

The show then moves to a serene, elegant series of balletic card tricks performed by Korean born, Yu Ho-Jin, who calls himself The Manipulator. He is touted as a rising superstar in the world of magic and was named the 2014 “Magician of the Year,” by Academy of Magical Arts and was the first Asian to win the Grand Prix at the Fédération Internationale des Sociétés Magiques, also known as the “Olympics of Magic.” His work is calming, soothing and yet still awe-inspiring.

A final favorite, and very Halloween, is the The Anti-Conjuror, Dan Sperry. He is Marilyn Manson meets David Copperfield, and perhaps could be described as a practitioner of black magic. His first act was to swallow razor blades and then swallow string and finally tug them all out of this gullet tied together. Gross was the response from my row.

Later in the show, he borrows a quarter from an audience member, and then inserts it into his eye. He then slits his forearm open, very bloodily and extracts the coin from his arm. In fact I don’t even want to know how he does it, and we all agreed, we wouldn’t want that coin back.

Another favorite was The Futurist, Adam Trent, who works with video and lasers and creates a beautiful synthesis of technological illusions, dance and comedy all interlaced with classic techniques.

The time seemed to zoom by, dare I say magically.

“The Illusionists: Live on Broadway” runs through Jan. 3, 2016, at the Neil Simon Theater, 250 52 Street. For information or tickets, visit www.theillusionistslive.com/tickets/broadway

Thérèse Raquin: theatre review

*published on 30 Oct 2015 in The EDGE

Matt Ryan and Kiera Knightley

Matt Ryan and Kiera Knightley  

“Thérèse Raquin” began life in 1897 as a novel by Emile Zola and has seen various reincarnations over the years. In 1980 the BBC serialized the book with the wonderful Kate Nelligan in the eponymous role. In 2001, Harry Connick, Jr. took a stab at envisioning the work as a musical entitled, “Thou Shalt Not” and now the Roundabout Theatre Company is mounting this gripping tale in its Studio 54 space, starring Keira Knightley in her Broadway debut.

We meet Thérèse Raquin in this reinterpretation by Helen Edmunson, in the starkly beautiful set by Beowulf Boritt, and she seems to be literally hollowed out she seems so fragile, thin and timid. We learn that Therese’s father, a sea captain, left her when she was two in the care of his sister, Madame Raquin, after the death of her Algerian mother.

Madame Raquin is firmly evinced by one of our great actors, two-time Tony winner Judith Light, currently in the Golden Globe winning series, “Transparent.” Thérèse grew up with her cousin Camille who in manhood is a simpering valetudinarian, ever chasing a constant illness. Needless to say that with a mother who dotes on his every simper, Camille has become an unbearable selfish prig.

Of course Thérèse is wedded to him. She seems emptier with every scene in the dark, unhappy home. Camille, played with unctuous perfection by Gabriel Ebert, decides the troika must move to Paris. Here the family hosts a gaggle of petty bourgeois guests who come promptly at 9 p.m. to play games and drink, making sure the table is moved by millimeters, a metaphor for the strict, unwavering nature of this class. David Patrick Kelly, Jeff Still and Mary Wiseman provide ample color and distraction as the guests who visit weekly to gossip and support the main characters. And they will need it.

Thérèse and Madame Raquin open a small shop, and Camille finally lands a job at the Railway Company. Here he meets a childhood friend, the very sexy, seething Laurent played with a wild abandon by Matt Ryan. In the initial scene when Laurent enters the Raquin home, Thérèse is still a timid mouse, small voiced and bloodless. But as Laurent speaks, she arcs her body toward him as if magnetized by his manly force, until one is sure she will tip out of her strait-backed chair in order to be ever closer to him. It is a genius maneuver and whether it was the direction by Evan Cabnet, which is marvelous, or the inspiration of Knightley, it is a silent action that speaks volumes.

They begin an intense affair and Thérèse is transformed in Laurent’s arms, and here we witness Knightley’s subtle acting chops come to the fore. When Laurent thrusts her upon the wall of her own bedroom, she moans, “There is finally blood in my veins!” We believe her; she is transformed.

Since this is a romance, tinged with mystery and at least a little ghoulish, horrifying and haunting, I am loath to give away the full story for those who did not have to read the it in French Lit 101. It is a show that moves with considerable pace as characters are compelled and cursed in equal measure. Again I commend the lighting by Keith Parham and a setting so compelling that in a boating scene I imagine those in the front row may be leaving the theater wet.

This is heavy, heady stuff and it was only marred for me by a jarring tittering from the audience who perhaps was seeking so jokes to relieve a melodramatic evening part “Tell Tale Heart,” part “Romeo and Juliet” and all from two centuries ago when people endured their stations in life and waited with baited breath for interstitial moments of fulfillment and might well do anything to enhance their staid lives.

“Thérèse Raquin” runs through Jan. 3, 2016 at The Roundabout Theatre Company, 254 West 54th St. in New York. For information or tickets, call 212-719-1300 or visit http://www.roundabouttheatre.org/tickets/reserve.aspx?pid=20243