In a new commercial appearing in front of movies in AMC theaters, Nicole Kidman panting tells theatergoers about the magic of watching a movie in a movie theater, not in the comfort of your own home. The one-minute “Prayer Before the Movie” was ridiculed and turned into a meme, both because it seems to preach a chorus of those who have already decided to return to the cinema, and because it is filled with overcooked melodramatic lines like “Something Heartbreak Feels Like” good in such a place. “
But the fact is that Kidman is right: “Breaking the Heart” can be a difficult realization for today’s audience, but it can also be a beautiful and cathartic part of the theatrical experience. The monster is calling, Currently playing at the Kennedy Center through London’s Old Vic, is a great example of how a play can break your heart and gently put the pieces together to the last curtain.
While there are some dark themes in the game, Monster it is, in general, a touching experience with a lot of soul. The titular monster (Keith Gilmar, but played Paul Socket in the evening of the press) harassing a 13-year-old Conar (Anthony Auger) every night at 12:07, although the imminent threat did not strike him. Connor is more focused on the stress of school bullies, the absent father and mother, who is getting sicker and sicker every day. The monster is also not a traditional monstrous beast with red teeth and claws, but is a manifestation of the ancient yew in the courtyard of Conor. It comes to life on stage through winding hanging ropes that serve as the main props of the show, which, when joined together and puppet-led by Socket, serve as a compelling proposition about the high and ancient spirit of the tree.
Obviously, imagination is central to this production, where a strict, all-white kit from the designer Michael Vale hides a few tricks to transform yourself into an environment as familiar as a school classroom, or otherworldly as a hellish landscape. (It turns out the best surprise hidden in the set Seamus Carey and Luke Potter creates dreamy synthesis music for live show scores). The custom set allows the monster to show Connor a series of three stories he has allegedly witnessed in his life, using allegory to illuminate Conor’s daily struggles. The general message that the monster seeks to convey is that things are rarely black and white, good or bad, especially people. For example, one story is about a priest who renounces faith and beliefs in a desperate attempt to save his dying daughters from disease. He is both a righteous man and a sinner, strong and weak, like Conor’s father (both play with warm love Tom Lorcan) who loves his son but cannot be fully devoted to him in the darkest hours of Conor because of commitments to his new family in America.
Monster, reveling in the power of storytelling, works because in itself is a skilledly crafted story. Novel source from Patrick Ness rich in profound quotes and insights that have been skillfully preserved by co-adapters Adam Peck and director Sally Kuksan. Fantastic elements layered on human experience come together to tell a modern fable filled with care and heart. As the last veil approaches and the seemingly inevitable tragic end, the play draws on one of its core ideas – that by honestly and openly confronting our tragedies, we can achieve catharsis and live with our problems rather than try to sweep them away.
It’s unfortunate that facing our tragedies is actually very difficult, and it makes this story difficult for some to sell. So it was when the novel was adapted into a The film of 2016 with strong critical and audience reviews but an anemic performance at the box office. Those who want to come to the theater for a beautiful but heartfelt tale will be well rewarded – and it would be good to pack a few napkins.
The monster’s bellBased on a novel by Patrick Ness, adapted from Sally Kuksan and Adam Peck, and directed by Kuksan, is playing at the Eisenhower Center Kennedy Theater until June 12. kennedy-center.org. $ 35-139.