Monday, February 15, 2010

THEATER: Shepard's Tale - 'A Lie of the Mind'




In mounting the first major revival of Sam Shepard's "A Lie of the Mind" since its 1985 off-Broadway run that featured Harvey Keitel and Geraldine Page among its legendary cast, Ethan Hawke has taken on a challenging play for ensemble, that is dark, chaotic, with mythical subtexts about family, loyalty, love and violence. Shepard's play is set in the modern American West,and this off-Broadway staging by the New Group theater company, directed by Ethan Hawke, resonates with the conflicts, pressures, and search for identity that seems to trouble the water in the current day, as war, economic upheaval, social unrest and identity crises bring challenges to us as individuals and as a society.

Great cast, featuring Frank Whaley, Josh Hamilton, Karen Young, Maggie Siff, Alessandro Nivola,Laurie Metcalf, Keith Carradine and Marin Ireland. Gorgeous set by Derek McClane. Haunting original music by Gaines, performed on found and adapted instruments. Laurie Metcalf, Karen Young and Keith Carradine as the parents of the couple at the heart of the story, played by Marin Ireland and Alessandro Nivola. Frank Whaley and Josh Hamilton are the respective brothers of the troubled couple who try to provide support, and in their opposing ways, set things right. Maggie Siff is the sister of Nivola's Jake, whose personal demons have twisted love and violence in a Gordian knot that leads to the spousal abuse that sets the play in motion. "A Lie of the Mind" is a complex, dark, and ultimately mystifying journey that again shows why Sam Shepard is an important contemporary American playwright, and especially in the hands of director Ethan Hawke and this powerful ensemble of actors, musicians, and theater artists.

In limited run through March 20. Theater Row, 410 West 42nd Street, NY. Tickets available call 212-279-4200 or go to The New Group link here.

A N.Y. Times interview with the cast here.

A New York magazine piece on Ethan Hawke and the New Group company here



Above photo by Chad Batka for The New York Times
Clockwise from top left, the cast and director of the new Off Broadway production of “A Lie of the Mind”: Frank Whaley, Josh Hamilton, Karen Young, Maggie Siff, Alessandro Nivola, Ethan Hawke, Laurie Metcalf, Keith Carradine and Marin Ireland.

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