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The Harvard Gazette - Arts & Culture: In on the act - Students among collaborators in A.R.T.'s 'Lily's Revenge' (October 22, 2012)
If it takes a village to raise a child, for playwright Taylor Mac, it took a community to develop an otherworldly theater piece. While it’s not exactly a cast of thousands, more than 30 people, including four Harvard undergraduates, take the stage in the American Repertory Theater's (A.R.T.) production of “The Lily’s Revenge...”
Film, theater, music and dance collaboratively collide for five delicious acts in which the allegoric tale of an organic potted lily's desire to marry a human is told.
"Lily’s Revenge" is an epic journey; gorgeously designed, emphatically played and oddly disarming. What I came away with was that Taylor Mac is an extraordinarily talented and generous artist willing to share his vision with his cast and his audience. At its final curtain, the tiny Oberon stage bursts with a garishly made-up lunatic crew in garish colors, sequins, leather, spandex, feathers, petticoats, top hats, headdresses and bridal attire, all celebrating the much-maligned and over-used term, diversity. This was one wedding party I was thrilled to attend.
Epic in length and campy, surrealistic, surprisingly clever and entertaining in content may be one way to describe Taylor Mac’s The Lily’s Revenge at the American Repertory Theatre’s Oberon Theatre. Another way would be to describe it as and Opus Magnus bouillabaisse of witty vaudeville schtick, English Music Hall audience participation and Weimar decadence literally flowered with bigger than life drag queens, preposterous flower girls, vignettes and dance numbers and sprinkled heavily with poetry, philosophy, brides and grooms, dieties, musical flowers and other seemingly real but fantasy stock figures. There is even a murderous Pope.
A five-act phantasmagoria written and conceived by Taylor Mac and directed with finesse by Shira Milikowsky, “The Lily’s Revenge’’ blends satire, music, dance, verse, film, fable, and vaudevillian hijinks into a tale of an intrepid, pure-hearted flower named Lily (Mac), battling the forces of history, culture, and social convention in its bid to marry a human.
BOSTON GLOBE - The performers in T-shirts and sweats in the drab basement rehearsal space off Harvard Square could be limbering up for any show. It’s only when you eye the costume drawings lining one wall that you realize something unusual is afoot. Giant flowers, Day-Glo colors, outrageous patterns — it’s Dr. Seuss meets Studio 54, a fabulous hothouse.
The Hypocrites production of Sean Graney's adaptation of "The Pirates of Penzance" has landed on the mainstage of the American Repertory Theatre in Cambridge, Mass.
BAAA! David Adjmi's Marie Antoinette negotiates hairpin turns among satire, low comedy, surrealism,and dark night of the soul before delivering a haunting wake-up call.
At the very start of the American Repertory Theatre’s New England premiere of David Adjmi’s "Marie Antoinette" the queen herself, played by Brooke Bloom, sits flanked by two noble companions. All three are equipped with fantastically high wigs; all three are attired in pastel-hued dresses (just one of costume designer Gabriel Berry’s many triumphs here). They are dainty, and even delectable, to behold; they look like nothing so much as a neatly packaged assortment of macaroons, and scenic designer Riccardo Hernandez has created a perfect little jewel box to contain their rarefied and often trivial existence.
The American Repertory Theater, in a co-production with Yale Repertory Theatre, presents the world premiere of David Adjmi's tragicomedy Marie Antoinette at the Loeb Drama Center in Cambridge. Staged on a colorful plexiglass set designed by Riccardo Hernandez (who also designed The Gershwins' Porgy and Bess), with stunning costumes and wigs by Gabriel Berry, Adjmi's highly entertaining telling of the French Queen's story takes its fair share of liberties with history, but displays obvious parallels between the economic inequality of her time and ours as we teeter on the brink of an important election.