By Matthew Blank
29 Oct 2013
Translated by John Willett and directed by Lear deBessonet (The Tempest), Good Person of Szechwan runs through Nov. 24. The imaginative staging was presented in early 2014 at La MaMa e.t.c. to acclaim.
Taylor Mac stars in the title role in a cast that also includes Kate Benson (Mrs. Shin); Ephraim Birney (The Nephew); Vinie Burrows (God #1); Clifton Duncan (Grandfather, Yang Sun); Jack Allen Greenfield (Boy, Carpenter’s Son); Brooke Ishibashi (The Woman); Paul Juhn (The Man, Mr. Shu Fu); Mia Katigbak (God #2); Lisa Kron, (Mrs. Mi Tzu. Mrs. Yang); Taylor Mac (Shen Tei); Mary Shultz (God #3); David Turner (Wang, Waiter); and Darryl Winslow (Unemployed Man, Carpenter, Policeman).
Here's how it's billed: "Can we practice goodness and create a world to sustain it? In this comic and complex play, one of Brecht's most entertaining characters, Shen Tei, the good-hearted, penniless, cross-dressing prostitute, is forced to disguise herself as a savvy businessman named Shui Ta to master the ruthlessness necessary to be a 'good person' in a cruel world of limited resources."
The production has set design by Matt Saunders, costume design by Clint Ramos, lighting design by Tyler Micoleau, sound design by Brandon Wolcott and choreography by Danny Mefford.*
André Gregory stages the American premiere of i>Grasses of a Thousand Colors which features Wallace Shawn (Aunt Dan and Lemon, "My Dinner With Andre," "The Princess Bride"), Julie Hagerty, Emily Cass McDonnell, Kristina Mueller and Jennifer Tilly.
Performances continue through Nov. 24.
Here's how the Public bills the piece: "Shawn's most outlandish work to date, Grasses of a Thousand Colors, is a disturbing and anomalously beautiful play that explores the role of human beings in nature and the role of nature in human beings, sexuality being as Shawn says, 'nature's most obvious footprint in the human soul.' The play's central character is a doctor who believes he has solved world hunger when he figures out how to rejigger the metabolisms of animals to tolerate eating their own kind. This has unexpected consequences. The play tells a story about the doctor, his wife, and his lovers, that is also a story about human beings and animals and the planet we live on."
The play is presented as part of the The Wallace Shawn-André Gregory Project – a retrospective celebrating a 40-year collaboration – which also included The Designated Mourner (presented earlier this summer). The Public Theater presented Shawn's first play in New York, Our Late Night, in 1975, directed by Gregory.
For further information phone (212) 967-7555, or visit PublicTheater. The Public Theater is located at 425 Lafayette Street in Manhattan.