It almost sounds like a playwright’s wet dream: an actress auditioning for a role in a play, and stripping down to her skimpy black lingerie at every opportunity. But there’s more than meets the eye to David Ives’ deliciously clever and highly entertaining “Venus in Fur” (at South Coast Repertory through Oct. 26).
I don’t want to, ah, reveal too much about the goings-on. Let’s just say it’s a game of cat and mouse that’s ultimately about sexual politics; the play-with-a-play the actress and playwright/director are ostensibly reading is an adaptation of an erotic novel set in 19th century Austria.
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Linda Purl solos in Joan Didion’s ‘Magical Thinking’ in Laguna http://yeahstub.com/article/linda-purl-solos-joan-didion-s-magical-t… …
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Graham Hamilton is perfectly credible as Thomas, the playwright, but the best reason to see this play is Jaimi Paige as Vanda, the actress, and not just because she looks good in lingerie. Paige is so perfectly in tune with ace director Casey Stangl, in revealing every nuance of her sly, intricately-layered character, it’s a delight to watch her every move. Keith Mitchell’s scenic design and Elizabeth Harper’s lighting contribute notably.
You might be tempted to rent Roman Polanski’s film version of the play and save a few bucks, but while the film is exceptionally good it can’t compete with the experience of seeing this play live on stage. It helps that the actors at SCR are a generation younger than those in the film, but the sexual tension in the room is palpable and electric. Call 714-708-5555 or visit www.scr.org.
Hot tip: Los Angeles’ Heretick Theatre Lab has announced the debut of “The Noir Series,” four thematically linked, interactive plays to be performed in front of an audience, filmed in HD, mixed in real time, and streamed over the web. Heretick is apparently the first and (so far) only company in LA to bring live theatre to folks nationwide via the Internet. For a full schedule of performance dates and times please visit: http://www.hereticklab.com/
More from Jordan:
Visit my book page: http://amzn.to/V5egbX
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Theatre versus Journalism:
How Anna Deavere Smith and Mike Daisey Blurred the Line
Academy Award Losers, 1912-1939:
Great Performances in the Oscar Hall of Shame, Vol. 1
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