Wesley Doucette

Wesley Doucette


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LAST 30 DAYS

BWW Review: OPERA GRAND AVIGNON Presents LE NOZZE DI FIGAROBWW Review: OPERA GRAND AVIGNON Presents LE NOZZE DI FIGARO
Posted: Oct. 25, 2018


LAST 365 DAYS

BWW Review: AVIGNON THEATRE FESTIVAL Presents LA REPRISE by MILO RAUBWW Review: AVIGNON THEATRE FESTIVAL Presents LA REPRISE by MILO RAU
Posted: Jul. 10, 2018


BWW Review: AVIGNON THEATRE FESTIVAL Presents MEDUSE By LES B?TARDS DORESBWW Review: AVIGNON THEATRE FESTIVAL Presents MEDUSE By LES B?TARDS DORES
Posted: Jul. 25, 2018


BWW Review: OPERA GRAND AVIGNON Presents LE NOZZE DI FIGAROBWW Review: OPERA GRAND AVIGNON Presents LE NOZZE DI FIGARO
Posted: Oct. 25, 2018


BWW Review: COMPAGNIE DU VINGT TROIS Presents FOOL FOR LOVEBWW Review: COMPAGNIE DU VINGT TROIS Presents FOOL FOR LOVE
Posted: Sep. 24, 2018


BWW Review: BIG DEAL, BOB FOSSE AND DANCE IN THE AMERICAN MUSICAL By KEVIN WINKLERBWW Review: BIG DEAL, BOB FOSSE AND DANCE IN THE AMERICAN MUSICAL By KEVIN WINKLER
Posted: Aug. 3, 2018


BWW Review: OPERA GRAND AVIGNON Presents LE NOZZE DI FIGAROBWW Review: OPERA GRAND AVIGNON Presents LE NOZZE DI FIGARO
October 25, 2018

Avignon's Opra Confluence is a challenging space, located some kilometers outside the town center near the TGV train station. It was recently constructed as a temporary theatre space while the city 19th century opera house undergoes significant restoration. The interior of the space resembles an exposed wood warehouse with red chairs. At the far end of the theatre, rather than the proscenium filling out the audience view, a yawning black screen fills the space, with the center third cut out for the performance. This scenic letterbox effect, coupled with the added distance made by the pit orchestra, makes dramatic intimacy and scenic delicacy difficult. Opra Grand Avignon's production of Mozart's Le Nozze di Figaro, under the stage direction of Stephan Grgler, turned what is at times a distant screen, into an enchanting diorama in which Grgler sure-footedly welcomes the enchanting tonal and aesthetic contradictions of the 18th century opera.

BWW Review: BALLET NATIONAL DE MARSEILLE at Avignon's OPERA CONFLUENCEBWW Review: BALLET NATIONAL DE MARSEILLE at Avignon's OPERA CONFLUENCE
October 11, 2018

On the sides and upstage a dense curtain of chains hangs, framing the dance space. It is a stark wasteland. Thankfully, choreographers Emio Greco and Pieter C. Scholten's fascinating movement vocabulary and exciting theatricality rescue the evening's program from becoming a moralizing dirge. The works, Extremalism and Bolero, navigate catastrophe with invention and without pity. In both of the pieces, presented October 6th 2018 at Avignon's Opra Confluence, the effects of disaster, most noticeably physical exhaustion and emotional disassociation, propel the movement of the incredibly talented performers of the Ballet National de Marseille.

BWW Review: AUDREY SCHEBAT'S LA PERRUCHEBWW Review: AUDREY SCHEBAT'S LA PERRUCHE
October 8, 2018

In Audrey Schebat's La Perruche a married couple, while waiting for their friends to attend a small soiree, fall into disagreement and start to analyze the nature of their relationship. This couple, male and female, don a veritable wardrobe of well-worn married archetypes. Throughout the play we witness 1950's dynamics, 1990's sitcom banter, what feels like an allusion to A Doll's House, and contemporary technology. These masks, coupled with little analysis of social circumstances that somehow brought them to this state in 2018, create a loss of dramatic intimacy. However, actors Arie Elmaleh and Barbara Schulz are superb as they emit heat and passion within the artifice.

BWW Review: COMPAGNIE DU VINGT TROIS Presents FOOL FOR LOVEBWW Review: COMPAGNIE DU VINGT TROIS Presents FOOL FOR LOVE
September 24, 2018

Our heritage might define us, but it doesn't get to define itself. Over the past decades we've witnessed as heroic archetypes turned dated, or even villainous. We've watched as the emotional collateral of a masculine old guard has been given a platform. From this vantage point such voices have shifted the focus from the passions of privileged men, to the scars of those left in their wake. Fool For Love by Sam Shepard is an aggressive portrayal of this passing. The play's location, a motel in the once wild west, is the embodiment of this contradiction: quotidian mediocrity, and mythic Americana. The Parisian Compagnie du Vingt-Trois withholds not a drop of the emotional intensity of this piece in their performance at Avignon's Pixel Theatre.

BWW Review: BIG DEAL, BOB FOSSE AND DANCE IN THE AMERICAN MUSICAL By KEVIN WINKLERBWW Review: BIG DEAL, BOB FOSSE AND DANCE IN THE AMERICAN MUSICAL By KEVIN WINKLER
August 3, 2018


BWW Review: AVIGNON THEATRE FESTIVAL Presents CERTAINES N'AVAIENT JAMAIS VU LA MER By RICHARD BRUNELBWW Review: AVIGNON THEATRE FESTIVAL Presents CERTAINES N'AVAIENT JAMAIS VU LA MER By RICHARD BRUNEL
July 27, 2018

Based on Julie Otsuka's novel The Buddha in the Attic, Certaines n'Avaient Jamais Vu La Mer, in performance in the Avignon Theatre Festival's Cloitre des Carmes, is a look at the lives of Japanese immigrants in America from the turn of the 20th century to FDR's internment camps. Director Richard Brunel's multimedia and elemental staging is supremely inventive, and the performances spark with vitality. Those familiar with the history might find themselves treading familiar territory. However, Certaines n'Avaient Jamais Vu La Mer can serve for some as a theatrically dynamic introduction to one of America's great historic shames.

BWW Review: AVIGNON THEATRE FESTIVAL Presents MEDUSE By LES BÂTARDS DORES
July 25, 2018

As my time attending performances in the Avignon Festival's 'In' comes to a close there are certain consistencies that float to the surface. Among these are nudity, bodily fluids, video integration, and a spectacular quality of sound design. Les Batard Dore's Meduse, now in performance in the Avignon Theatre Festival's Gymanse du Lycee St Joseph, has a bit, or a lot, of each. However, even in as such lofty company as the Avignon Theatre Festival, Leny Bernay's soundscape is transporting. Translating mental anguish, the sea, and dizzying poetry in a heart rumbling bass his presence is a boon to Les Batards Dores extremely promising production.

BWW Review: AVIGNON THEATRE FESTIVAL Presents CANZONE PER ORNELLA By RAIMUND HOGHEBWW Review: AVIGNON THEATRE FESTIVAL Presents CANZONE PER ORNELLA By RAIMUND HOGHE
July 24, 2018


BWW Review: AVIGNON THEATRE FESTIVAL Presents STORY WATER By EMANUEL GATBWW Review: AVIGNON THEATRE FESTIVAL Presents STORY WATER By EMANUEL GAT
July 22, 2018


BWW Review: AVIGNON THEATRE FESTIVAL Presents ARCTIQUE By ANNE-CECILE VANDALEMBWW Review: AVIGNON THEATRE FESTIVAL Presents ARCTIQUE By ANNE-CECILE VANDALEM
July 23, 2018

Anne-Cecile Vandalem's Arctique, now in production at the Avignon Theatre Festival's La FabricA, is a spectacular and rare diversion in a program laden with portentous prophesying. Equal parts Black Mirror and Murder on the Orient Express, Arctique is set after the fall of global warming in 2025. Though, never mind that, the downfall of world order is simply a social backdrop. Doubt not however that Vandalem has made a deep social mythology to rival the best of the speculative fiction genre. It's just that, dramatically speaking, she simply has more pressing matters to deal with.

BWW Review: AVIGNON THEATRE FESTIVAL Presents DE DINGEN DIE VOORBIJGAAN By IVO VAN HOVEBWW Review: AVIGNON THEATRE FESTIVAL Presents DE DINGEN DIE VOORBIJGAAN By IVO VAN HOVE
July 23, 2018

Has anyone embodied the industrial elegance of central European theatre more fully than Ivo Van Hove? His worlds are factory made with squares of glass, metal, and stone. His characters reside within an inescapable atmosphere of manufactured order. Whenever disorder breaks the mold, whether it be by cascading water and blood in his View From The Bridge, or by reams of black snow in De Dingen Die Voorbijgaan, now in performance at the Avignon Theatre Festival's Lycee Saint Joseph, its breach comes as a violent shock. Gazing at the looming black metal and industrial lighting yawning over Jan Versweyveld's slate tiled scenography, it's hard to imagine that this world could contain full people. However, such is the case in De Dingen Die Voorbijgaan which, within this environment devoid of softness creates a drama of the deepest intimacy and the most raw humanity. In Van Hove's glittering diadem of masterpieces, it is a particularly glowing jewel.

BWW Review: AVIGNON THEATRE FESTIVAL Presents TARTIUFAS Directed By OSKARAS KORSUNOVASBWW Review: AVIGNON THEATRE FESTIVAL Presents TARTIUFAS Directed By OSKARAS KORSUNOVAS
July 23, 2018

An actor once vented to me after a performance that the cast 'had something good, but the director screwed it up by trying to make it something important.' The word 'screwed' is my addition. So too is the fatal flaw of Oskaras Korsunovas's Tartiufas, now in performance in the Avignon Theatre Festival's Opera Confluence. The world is glowing in a post-baroque kitsch. The actors are superbly game, throwing themselves into daring feats of theatrical acrobatics. Yet, politically overcompensating, Tartiufas repeatedly doesn't stick the landing.

BWW Review: AVIGNON THEATRE FESTIVAL Presents 36, AVENUE GEORGES MANDEL By RAIMUND HOGHEBWW Review: AVIGNON THEATRE FESTIVAL Presents 36, AVENUE GEORGES MANDEL By RAIMUND HOGHE
July 19, 2018

To enter or exit The Avignon Theatre Festival's stunning Clotre des Carmes one must cross in full view of bleacher seating on the space's Marley floor, which extends uninterrupted from the upstage gothic corridor. Despite such a conspicuous route, or perhaps because of it, many attending Raimund Hoghe's 36, Avenue Georges Mandel took a speedy or defiant mid-performance exit. The performance I attended this past Tuesday ended in a sturdy division between aggressive boos and a smattering of impassioned standing ovations. I am not sure if either extreme reaction was truly merited. I am even more uncertain as to why this piece, first performed in the Festival in 2007, was picked for a rare Avignon Theatre Festival revival.

BWW Review: AVIGNON THEATRE FESTIVAL Presents RACINE'S IPHEGENIE Directed By CHLOE DABERTBWW Review: AVIGNON THEATRE FESTIVAL Presents RACINE'S IPHEGENIE Directed By CHLOE DABERT
July 16, 2018

Sometimes it takes one great performance to rescue an evening of theatre. Servane Ducorps, as the enraged and heartbroken Clytemnestra, does her level best in Racine's Iphigenie, now in The Avignon Theatre Festival's Cloitre des Carmes. While it isn't quite enough to get the work over the finish line, her performance is a beacon in an otherwise self-pitying slog.

BWW Review: AVIGNON THEATRE FESTIVAL Presents THYESTE Directed By THOMAS JOLLYBWW Review: AVIGNON THEATRE FESTIVAL Presents THYESTE Directed By THOMAS JOLLY
July 16, 2018

In theatre there are few spaces as uniquely prestigious or complicated as The Avignon Theatre Festival's La Cour d'Honneur. Situated in the 14th century Palais des Papes, the immense open-air stage is backed by an imposing 100-foot stone wall. The wall comes unhelpfully pre-furnished with scenic elements such as a large gothic balcony and haphazardly placed windows. The work of any director must ultimately answer to such an imposing space. Amazingly, Thomas Jolly's modern staging of the Roman classic Thyeste finds a sonorous harmony within this medieval chasm.

BWW Review: AVIGNON THEATRE FESTIVAL Presents JOUEURS, MAO II, ET LES NOMS By JULIEN GOSSELINBWW Review: AVIGNON THEATRE FESTIVAL Presents JOUEURS, MAO II, ET LES NOMS By JULIEN GOSSELIN
July 17, 2018

Reassuring variations of 'I heard it was good,' and as common threats of 'It better be,' pepper the courtyard of The Avignon Theatre Festival's mercifully comfortable La FabricA theatre. Concern is well placed as Gosselin's epic three part trilogy, Joueurs, Mao II, et Les Noms spans a daring ten hours without intermission. This marathon, which seamlessly synthesizes literature, film, and live drama, transforms La FabricA into its own artistic ecosystem. It's hard to imagine that some residue of the artistic toil will not indelibly mark the space. What results from these ten hours is part elegy to the state of violence, part theatrical deconstruction, and part Netflix binge.

BWW Review: AVIGNON THEATRE FESTIVAL Presents ROMANCES INCIERTOS, UN AUTRE ORLANDO By FRANÇOIS CHAIGNAUD And NINO LAISNE
July 13, 2018


BWW Review: AVIGNON THEATRE FESTIVAL Presents GRITO PELAO by COMPAGNIE ROCÍO MOLINA
July 12, 2018


BWW Review: AVIGNON THEATRE FESTIVAL Presents KREATUR by SASHA WALTZBWW Review: AVIGNON THEATRE FESTIVAL Presents KREATUR by SASHA WALTZ
July 10, 2018

The figures that appear in Sasha Waltz's Kreatur, now in performance at Opera Confluence at the Avignon Theatre Festival, defy belief. The incomparable costume design by Iris van Herpen transforms the human body with spikes, light as air cocoons, and patterns that appear and disappear from view depending on the angle. Soundwalk Collective's soundscape fascinates as it distorts electronic rhythm, industrial machinery, the sounds of nature, and, in one fabulous instance, The Nutcracker's 'Arabian Dance.' With so many elements of the performance attempting to drag the spectator to an alternate dimension, it is a shame that the world on stage remains one of concert dance convention.

BWW Review: AVIGNON THEATRE FESTIVAL Presents LA REPRISE by MILO RAUBWW Review: AVIGNON THEATRE FESTIVAL Presents LA REPRISE by MILO RAU
July 10, 2018

'Milo Rau has created nothing short of a shocking success. I pray the day comes when such artistic experiences are not necessary. Though in our world of catastrophe, he offers something visceral and vital.'



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