Sunday, April 2, 2017

Back To Methuselah Part 3 
As Far as Thought Can Reach. 
(Part Five of  A  Metabiological Pentateuch.)   

At Washington Stage Guild to April 16, 2017

Take a bunch of unlikely characters.   

Give them long winded speeches on art and life and humanity and eternity.  

Be sure they have an assortment of names that match equally time warped costumes — ancient Greek garb for the setting in the 32nd century in comparison to a 20th queenly yellow suit with proper red hat and matching pocketbook and formal male attire of man and woman created in lab by Pygmalion. 

Did I mention there is no intermission for almost 2 hours.

What you have is a theatrical success of the first order.  That is because the Washington Stage Guild knows what it is doing when it tackles George Bernard Shaw.  They are simply the best at doing the best.

Bill Largress directed this sumptuous piece of theatrical entertainment.   Back To Methuselah is the final part, set in 31,920 AD, and subtitled As Far as Thought Can Reach  (the last of a set of five parts that is subtitled A  Metabiological Pentateuch.) 

 Double casting adds an underscore to some of the roles that beings continue to be formed in some image of Adam and Eve and the Serpent, and what happened in the Garden of Eden.  For instance, Brit Herring is both Strephon and also the Ghost of Adam and  Lynn Steinmetz is Chloe and Female Figure and Ghost of Eve while  Conrad Feininger is Male Figure and Ghost of Cain.  Lisa Giannarelli is She-Ancient and Ghost of Serpent. 

The Biblical characters are blended with the ancient Greek wise ones.  Vincent Clark is He-Ancient.  Michael Avolio is Acis.  Frank Britton is Pygmalion, Egg/Newly Born is Madeleine Farrington (in a egg designed by Joe Largess) and Ecrasia is Malinda Katheleen Reese.  

And Lilith, who started it all in 4004 BC or several years ago at least,  in Part One, is the Ensemble.

What I liked best about this production is how the cast shared the  fun of what it is to think about everything from childhood to eternity delivering  deftly whether in  long discourses or in short aphorisms. 

Yes, this is the play that has the much quoted line “ You see things; you say, 'Why?' But I dream things that never were; and I say 'Why not?”  

A single man might not live as long as words will.  While GBS’  words are almost a hundred years old, they are alive and well at Washington Stage Guild.  

Try not to miss it in this lifetime around!