Oscar E Moore

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LAZARUS – In a word: Intoxicating

December 9th, 2015 by Oscar E Moore

Try to imagine having the world’s worst hangover.  A major Gin Fuzz.  Thoughts and images banging around your almost comatose brain.  Thoughts – past and present.  Loving thoughts.   Romantic thoughts.  Sexy, violent and horrific remembrances running simultaneously, racing helter-skelter through your mind.

You would give anything to die but you aren’t allowed to.  Nor are you allowed to go home to that far off planet from whence you came – building up a lucrative business enabling you to loll around drinking gin, eating Twinkies and having all those – for want of a better word “people” around you and all those relentless eye popping images unable to help.

This is how we discover the incandescent Michael C. Hall laid out on stage – a stark and neutral beige set with a bed a fridge and a turntable.  And a band behind a glass wall as in an aquarium.  Is he dead?  Not a muscle twitches from his bare feet until LAZARUS begins shocking both him and us into the incredibly heady, vibrant and confusing story of Newton’s journey home to Mars.  His portrayal is nothing short of magnificent.

You might not be able to easily follow the narrative of this other-worldly David Bowie/Enda Walsh juke-box musical directed by Ivo van Hove – with his distinctive style stamped firmly on this production – based on the novel by Walter Tevis – The Man Who Fell to Earth.  Here it works perfectly.  One cannot imagine anyone else creating such an exhilarating production.

Visually it is a stunner.  Effects never seen before.  Combining video and Cinemascope-like projections with live action that will keep you attentive throughout.  Scenic and lighting by Jan Versweyveld and Video design by Tal Yarden are breathtaking in this two hour show without intermission.

Then we have the incredibly beautiful score by David Bowie which was a revelation for me.  It is curious how the director has segued into and out of the songs seamlessly leaving no room for applause to interfere with the story – until the end, of course, where all of our pent up adulation flows across to the actors from the audience.

Everyone will have their own interpretation of its meaning.  Many questions will go unanswered.  No matter.  You will be awed by each performance without exception.  Especially that of Sophia Anne Caruso – Girl.  Is she his beloved daughter come to rescue him from Earth?  Is she real?  Imagined?  No matter – she is fantastic.

Nicholas Christopher, Michael Esper, Bobby Moreno, Charlie Pollock and Cristin Milioti are all perfectly cast and deliver knock-out vocals.  Great sound design by Brian Ronan.  Krystina Alabado, Lynn Craig, Krista Pioppi and Brynn Williams round out the cast of LAZARUS – a musical whose haunting images and sounds are not easily forgotten.

If you are lucky enough to a secure a ticket to this intoxicating sold-out production you will indeed be lucky.

At The New York Theatre Workshop. www.NYTW.org

Photo credit:  Jan Versweyveld

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