Thursday, September 14, 2006

Lulu review - SF Chronicle

Lulu - the Silent Theatre production currently at the Victoria Theatre in San Francisco - just got a terrific review in the San Francisco Chronicle. If you live in the Bay Area and haven't already seen this enjoyable production, do check it out. It's really good - and Kyla Webb as Lulu is terrific! From today's review:
It's not just the title character, though Kyla Louise Webb's Lulu is almost as irresistible an embodiment of female sexuality as Louise Brooks was in G.W. Pabst's 1928 film, "Pandora's Box." As conceived and directed by Tonika Todorova, Silent's "Lulu" is a feast of exaggerated silent movie-style comic and melodramatic acting -- in living black and white, with blown-up supertitles and composer Isaiah Robinson's period-perfect piano accompaniment -- with a surprisingly flavorful tragic aftertaste. . . . 

"Lulu" also has something of a local connection. Though he was born in Germany, mostly raised in Switzerland and never visited America, Benjamin Franklin Wedekind's parents met in San Francisco and he was conceived in Oakland. Perhaps in keeping with his founding father namesake, Wedekind set out to revolutionize German theater, becoming a prime mover in the creation of expressionism and a major influence on Brecht, among many others. . . . 

Brooks, whose centennial is being celebrated this year, memorably captured that quality on film. Webb, in classic Brooks black bob, re-creates it onstage in a combination of expressionist stylization, Jazz Age jitterbugging verve and a more contemporary sexual assertiveness. But she doesn't do it alone. The entire company brings her fatal attraction to life, from her succession of doomed husbands and other lovers to the observers of her rise and tawdry fall. . . .

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