Saturday, July 28, 2007

A Cask of Exxon Mobile

Here is a photograph of the result of my collaboration with Greg Oliver Bodine in the play Poe, Times Two at the Manhattan Theatre Source. I reconstructed the painting in the background The Triumph of Justice over Rebellion, from an original hanging in the inquisitor's room of the Palazzo Ducale in Venice.

Greg put on a brilliant performance of The Cask of Amontillado (pictured) and The Black Cat. I've always felt that the Victorian era, and especially Poe, had a very Baroque aesthetic about it, and this manifestation certainly evoked the tenebrist tension between the light of truth and the shadows of the human soul.

I couldn't help but to read the overtones of judgment and the tragic malevolence of man as a political commentary, much in the same vein as The Crucible during the McCarthy era. To bring the audience into the atmosphere, he pleads his case directly, very much like the posturing Bush - debating the merits of his honor and the reasons for his deed. But ultimately his story must come to a close, and truly it is we who stand in judgment.

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