Let’s start with honesty, would I have gone to this show if it didn’t star Mikhail Baryshnikov? If someone had asked me to go, I probably would have gone. I have a strict policy of going to see things that are outside of my comfort zone (which is, theatrically, pretty broad already.) But would I have sought this show out, would I have even known about this show if Baryshnikov’s name wasn’t attached to it? To be perfectly frank, its not likely. But one of my criteria for selecting what shows I do go see includes the actors performing in them and Baryshnikov is a pretty big name on my theatrical “bucket list.” The opportunity to see him on stage is one that you cannot pass up especially when he’s right here in your back yard.
The hard part is trying to describe the show. If I told you its about several turkey hunters sitting around telling tales late one night and that one story is about a man who dies of shame because a girl rides a bicycle and the other is about a man who resists his love for a married woman that would be a very shallow explanation of the production. I could try and describe it but the performance was such a visual and auditory experience I really couldn’t do it justice. Of the four of us who went, one really liked it, one appreciated it, one found it interesting and one had a nice nap. Okay, I had a few somnolent moments myself but it was interesting to watch. The production was so understated and low energy and the music was so soothing a little nap-age was almost inevitable (plus there was pre-theater sangria involved.)
I’m glad I went, even if I’m unclear about what they were trying to accomplish, or even if there was such a goal. I like a little more variety in the tempo of my shows and for the most part this show kept a deliberate even and measured pace through out the performance. There was one kind of energetic colorful moment but then it settled back to it’s pale gray mood. Not a show I would recommend for everyone; it is quite intentionally not a traditional story telling method. It seems to be something the Bid Dance Theatre Company, who developed the show, specialize in. If you’re a fan of the Synetic Theatre and what they’re doing this may be something you’ll enjoy. But don’t expect to see Baryshnikov dance…much.
The show plays through December 22nd at the Lansburgh Theatre and has several other touring dates around the country. See the link below.