Theatre. In Mexico. I am a little out of that scene but miss it terribly, since at one time attending the season at The Pittsburgh’s Public Theatre and seeing so many wide-ranging plays, and then being able to discuss them with someone afterward, when a colleague asked if I wanted to attend a viewing of A StreetCar Named Desire from The National Theatre in London, but viewed in Mexico from The Lunario, I was like YES!
I remember studying a portion of A Street Car Named Desire in an older AP class, as well as viewing it, with the tension that came out similar to that from a play such as Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? Yet, this was exciting and I anticipated a new experience.
The Lunario itself is beside the Auditorio, and as you walk in, I realized how interesting a theatre this was. Two individuals asked for my email to register for a possible giveaway for a ride in a Jaguar (I think more like a test drive!) then I made my way up a set of curved stairs where I came into a very relaxing, single table room that resembled a very cool and relaxing lounge. I took the resemblance of a few places in Pittsburgh right near Station Square, and I loved it. As we settled in, I did become familiar with the actress Gillian Anderson from the X files, but unfamiliar with Ben Foster, Vanessa Kirby, or Director Benedict Andrews, although from the conversations from my colleagues, I guess I SHOULD have been familiar with them.
Even though this production took place on October 12th, what I do remember is vivid and clear. The plot was as jarring and unsettling as it should be, so far perfect. Gillian Anderson fell into her role perfectly and quickly let you forget she was ever in a series called The X Files, which is amazing to me. To top it off, the transitions between scenes was jarring, hard, rocky music that seemed to have the very edge and tenseness to it that the play itself needed to contain. Ben Foster was amazing and perfect in his mannerisms, expressions, and stereotypical role of an abrasive character that brought out the best and maybe even the worse of a “Blanche” Gillian Anderson. For some reason, I fell in love with the character Stella played by Vanessa Kirby. I liked how she was sublet, yet she played directly through the rollercoaster movements that Blanche and Stanley came out with through the whole show.
Details also really seemed to be recognized as far as even though the stage would revolve and change amid jarring music, the water somewhat disconnected from any walls actually worked as depicted from scenes when baths were drawn or water was run in the sink.
The clear set that involved no exterior walls and music to a revolving stage just added to how strong the characters were and truly no set would have still worked with the boldness and character strength each individual brought to the stage.
I loved that at intermission you were able to hear Director Benedict Andrews elaborate on the history of this production as well as learn a little about the theatre in London, The Young Vic. Although streamed onto the screen the atmosphere, as well as the quality production could have easily transported you to London without a hesitation. This was truly a successful production in every sense, and I found myself hooked to anything that might they way from the National Theatre Live in London.
Good thing, because a second chance came by on October 28th with the production of Skylight, starring Carey Mulligan, Bill Nighy, and Matthew Beard, and directed by Stephen Daldry. I will commit the ultimate act of ignorance by admitting I knew none of these actors and directors, and this being a crime because each and every one was well -renowned, and amazing on stage as I would find out by the end of this production.
What I did LOVE, absolutely LOVE, was the WHOLE stage was the same apartment, and didn’t need to be anything else. Seeing the inside of an apartment as well as the neighboring apartments that are all contained in a tenement, you do realize this is no penthouse and just one one countless raised apartments in a lesser than respectable (as considered by many) part of London.
So many stereotypes and depictions of how people view education, how educators work in abysmal conditions at times, and often dramatize their situation because of that very aspect. However, there are other skeletons that are uncovered and a web on intrigue surrounds relationships, both working and personal, as well as the bond between friends that occurs outside of a love relationship.
So many flip-flip situations, and you are riveted to the lines THE WHOLE WAY THROUGH. Not knowing anything about actors, as well as the plot and walking away thinking, WOW, I was BLESSED! – that is a play worth anyone’s attention and Skylight is absolutely NO exception at all. I do not want to give away the very important meaning of the title of this play, but yes, VERY well represented and done.
The grace that all have in their own way does come out, but by no means are the characters imitating each other or indicative of a pattern, but more of a pattern that involved their love for each other despite the pain that came along the way.
Within 1 to 2 days time of the pace of this play, you feel as you indeed have travelled the length of three individuals’ lives, and what a life each has had in relationship to impacting each other. That is main charm of this play, and worth every line.
In seeing the director as well elaborate on the history and relationship with working with this particular cast, there is an ease, and moreso a detection of the talent that has oozed out in every scene, every line, and every movement from beginning to end of this production. 2 out of 2 at The Lunario has hit a homerun in both productions, redefining what theatre can be when you walk in and then walk out of the theatre. Bravo Lunario, Bravo!