Reviewed by Paula Citron
Red Light District
Written by Arthur Schnitzler
Directed and translated by Ted Witzel
Performed by Tyson James, Milan Malisic. Mariana Medellin-Meinke, Marcel Dragonieri, Lauren Gillis, Beau Dixon, Raffaele Ciampaglia, Eve Wylden, Maarika Pinkney, and Michael David Blostein
May 19 to Jun. 4, 2011
In reviewing theatre, I’ve seen shows in some very odd places, but a sex club is a first.
Queen St. West’s Club Wicked is hosting Red Light District’s production of Viennese playwright Arthur Schnitzler’s highly controversial 1897 La Ronde. The club’s ornate, brothel-like decor makes a perfect backdrop, and artistic director Ted Witzel has staged the play literally all over the club. His actors are mostly enthusiastic recent theatre school grads.
Witzel did his own contemporary translation, but curiously, kept in Schnitzler’s stilted language. The play is about ten sexual encounters, putting each character with two different lovers. The Floozie is now transgendered, and the Sweet Young Thing is a young boy.
The acting is uneven, with Beau Dixon as the Husband being the most compelling. Witzel has added in music and some clever stage business, like S&M handcuffs.
Red Light’s main aim is to provoke, and La Ronde certainly raises issues.
La Ronde continues at Club Wicked until Jun. 4.