idic5 | Chicago Reader

Recent Reviews

Re: “Vincent's Yellow

If you like Van Gogh, or even art in general, it is well worth seeing this imaginative production that explores Van Gogh the artist and Teresa, an aficionado of his art over a century later (as well as the author and actress playing herself in the play).

The play was in a loft apartment that was ingeniously redone into a cozy theater space with couches and comfy homey seating. This kind of venue helped to carry the idea of the play, Teresa's personal accounting of her love of Van Gogh's work and life. But this statement is not quite complete, since I for one related to Teresa's sojourn and the value she placed on Van Gogh, so I was less a voyeur of her love of Van Gogh and more involved almost as in an intimate conversation -- theater at its best.

Joining the personal expressions were some documentarian elements, Ken Burns-like, letting Vincent speak through his letters as well as reviewers and fellow artists of the time. I was going to say that the work was like 'Sunday in the Park with George' but without the music since it attempted to go 'behind the scenes' of the artist and the creation of his art, but there were in fact a couple heartfelt original songs and even some well choreographed dances depicting Van Gogh paintings. Those familiar with the paintings will appreciate the latter especially. And what a great idea to represent those paintings, which were executed with such thick vibrant brush strokes, with a ballet - like sequence of people, almost like painting with people!

While the play is not 'Sunday in the Park', it does share with it the 'brainy' exploration of what art is and our relationship to art, using Van Gogh -- actually the three representations, or yes, the three *impressions* of Van Gogh -- and the 21st century Teresa as flesh and blood vehicles for us to explore these ideas. Art on art.

The actors all executed their roles well to make the intelligent 'meta' themes come alive. The actor who played the Vincent who is our idea of the 'mad starving artist' especially chewed up the scenery. He reminded me of the young Kirk in the latest Star trek movie, full of gut level passions. He contrasted nicely with the other actor who played the other aspect of Van Gogh, the thoughtful, quieter Dutch Victorian gentleman. I felt that seeing these distinct actors representing our ideas of Van Gogh - and thus making us think what was a 'lie' and 'truth', art and reality - was worth the price of admission alone.

This is worth seeing, with apologies to the christmas song, since we all need a little Vincent, right this very minute, need a little art, with yellow everywhere....

2 likes, 8 dislikes
Posted by idic5 on 08/09/2010 at 11:08 AM

Recent Comments

Re: “Vincent's Yellow

I also wanted to add that I know someone who made a similar trip as Teresa - following Vincent's steps in Europe. THere is something about Van Gogh that inspires the soul searching pilgrim in us. Shoot, I'd like to do the same, but don't have the money or the time. For the time being , this work by Vermendi will have to suffice.

2 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by idic5 on 08/09/2010 at 11:43 AM

Re: “Everything Freezes: Another Winter's Tale

question before atending: has shakespeare's original language, his blank verse, been retained in this production. the review says the language has been updated.

Posted by idic5 on 03/27/2009 at 11:19 AM

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