Friday, September 19, 2014

Seeing "Illusions" at Baryshnikov Arts Center

Illusions.

You tell yourself, "Of course, illusions." It's a play about love, isn't it? But you don't know. You really have no idea.

Because Illusions--written by Russian playwright Ivan Viripaev and premiered in 2011--starts out all heartwarming, even if that warmth develops an obsessive edge that should clue you to what's down the line. And then someone grabs the wheel and takes you careening around several hairpin turns and hurtles you past once-familiar landmarks until you're not sure where you are. You sit up, reach for your seat belt, try to get your bearings. By then, it's too late.

Baryshnikov Arts Center presents the US premiere of Illusions, newly translated and directed by Cazimir Liske. Actors Anthony Gaskins, Stephanie Hayes, Annie Purcell, and Mickey Solis take turns dispassionately narrating the story of two long-married couples, decades full of unexpected or unknown intersections and interlockings. Death, the invisible MC of this show, forces realizations and revelations. Hayes and Solis are particularly steady, masterful drivers of this treacherous road. And the production--which incorporates a bit of puppetry and projections--seeks to make things even more disorienting, if amusing, as it highlights the shiny little magic trick that is theater.

Watch a preview here.

Remaining performances: September 19, 20, 23 and 24 at 8PM. Click here for information and tickets.

Jerome Robbins Theater
Baryshnikov Arts Center
450 West 37th Street (between 10th and   Avenues), Manhattan
(map/directions)

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