Something old, something new
June 9, 2011 —
I find myself looking backward this week, so the last event I covered is still fresh in my mind, but not necessarily fresh. Agatha Christie’s “And Then There Were None” is currently playing at the Rivoli Theatre in S. Fallsburg, NY (www.scdw.net) and having been written in 1939, certainly falls under “something old.”
I’m unsure, regardless of the numerous interpretations for stage, screen and radio (over lo, these many years) that the piece still holds up under scrutiny. I’m a huge Christie fan, but would be hard pressed to invent a new way to present this material without it appearing just a bit creaky. It would appear that director Bunny Wolosczak was equally uninspired and (IMHO) the show is a little tired.
I believe that audiences today are much more sophisticated than when this piece was originally produced, much less in any of the dozens of major productions created between the original in 1945, and the last incarnation done in 1989 (which was set on safari in Africa). There are some decent performances, but (personally) I would have left the English accents at home (as several of the other major productions had chosen) and looked for a new angle.
Adding to my confusion was the promo material, which clearly states the “None” is based on Christies’ novel “Ten Little Indians”—but in this version, the all-important nursery rhyme is repeatedly called “Ten Little Soldiers” (yet another of the far too many rehashed interpretations). I left the theatre underwhelmed, but curious to know what others might think.
On June 3, I found myself at the Alliance Gallery (www.artsalliancesite.org) for a bit of “something borrowed,” since mixed media artist Charles Wilkin concentrates much of his work on collage “derived primarily from the study of headlines, sound bites and idle conversations.”
I spoke with Wilkin during the opening reception and found him charming, even when sharing that I found some of his pieces disturbing. “My work is essentially a product of its environment,” his artist’s statement explains, and he was unfazed by my assessment, finding it “totally valid, art being subjective and all.”
Upstairs at the Loft Gallery, running in conjunction (June 3 to 25) is DIGit, a digital media exposition running throughout Narrowsburg, NY during the month of June.