Tuesday, September 26, 2006

SFBG reviews Lulu

From the San Francisco Bay Guardian (the alternative weekly here)
Lulu Victoria Theatre, 2961 16th St; 863-7576, www.victoriatheatre.org. $20. Extended run: Thurs-Sat, 8pm; Sun, 7pm. Through Oct 29.

Oh, to have the perfect Louise Brooks bob and the desire of all who lay eyes on you. Being irresistibly sexy is not all it’s cracked up to be, as demonstrated in the Chicago-based Silent Theatre’s adaptation of German playwright Frank Wedekind’s story cycle revolving around the self-serving femme fatale Lulu (Kyla Louise Webb). Everyone wants the vixenly cabaret performer, from her sugar daddy agent (Alzan Pelesic) to her legal guardian, the supposedly upstanding Dr. Sch�n (Nicholas DuFloth), to the doctor’s feckless son (Matthew Massaro) and the Egon Schiele-esque countess and costume designer (Lauren Ashley Fisher) for the upcoming big show. And though Lulu seems adept at handling her cadre of suitors, the stage can get pretty crowded, with one lover coming in the door, another sneaking around the sofa, and yet another pretending to be a statue in the corner. The story is told without dialogue, save for the projected intertitles, and the players move in black and white makeup and costumes like actors in the sped-up, jerky films of the 1920s to the dazzling and manic piano accompaniment of Isaiah Robinson. Director Tonika Todorova’s translation of the silent film to the stage can be elegantly seductive, as when Lulu tangos with her new dance partner, the volatile Rodrigo (Curtis M. Jackson), but also a bit messy, as when a particularly juicy make-out session between Lulu and the countess leaves their black lipstick smeared for the rest of the scene. Ah, but nothing in life is ever too tidy — especially in Lulu’s. (Giattina)

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