by Paula Citron
American-Japanese playwright Naomi Iizuka’s “36 Views” is theatre with brains.
Iizuka uses the world of fine art as an inquiry into ethical behaviour, both on a business and personal level. Her inspiration is a series of wood-block prints of Mt. Fuji known as “36 Views” by the Japanese artist Hokusai. Each of the 36 vignettes in Iizuka’s play presents a different aspect of her main theme.
Iizuka’s Mt. Fuji is morality and her main character is the unscrupulous art dealer Darius Wheeler played by John Fitzgerald Jay. The other characters represent different positions in the art world (read human nature) in relation to Wheeler. The intriguing drama that unfolds has more twists and turns than a whodunit.
The ending is a little too pat in weaving all the disparate threads together, but the journey itself is exhilarating. The play is a puzzle that is solved through the 36 views.
“36 Views” continues at until May 5.
From the Berkeley Street Theatre Downstairs, I’m Paula Citron, arts reviewer for CLASSICAL 96.3 FM.