BWW Review: Gordon-Artman ACQUANETTA is No Grade-B Horror at Bard, Directed by Tony-winner Fish

BWW Review: Gordon-Artman ACQUANETTA is No Grade-B Horror at Bard, Directed by Tony-winner Fish

ACQUANETTA. Photo: Maria Baranova-
Suzuki © 2018 Prototype Festival.

ACQUANETTA, which just opened at Bard's SummerScape, was the piece that opened 2018's edition of PROTOTYPE festival in New York. Musically and dramatically, written by Michael Gordon, composer (of 'Bang on a Can' fame), Deborah Artman, librettist (ditto), the piece is very much in a class of its own.

Aquanetta, as it turns out, was a B-rated movie actress (born Mildred Davenport), nicknamed the "Venezualan Volcano" by Universal Studios, who starred in TARZAN AND THE LEOPARD WOMAN (1946) and various other minor film epics. But the opera/theatre piece created by Gordon and Artman, hearkens to CAPTIVE WILD WOMAN (1943), where her billing was "shockingly savage Acquanetta as THE GORILLA GIRL! The brain of an animal, the form of a woman! She's half human! Half beast!"

Read what I had to say about the production in Brooklyn, also directed by Daniel Fish, who won the Tony this year for his production of OKLAHOMA, which also started out at Bard.

The performance schedule for ACQUANETTA at Bard continues through July 21: July 17 at 2 pm; July 18 at 8 pm; July 19 at 8 pm;July 20 at 2 pm; July 20 at 8 pm; and July 21 at 2 pm. The production is being performed at Bard's LUMA Theatre at the Frank Gehry designed Fisher Center, with tickets starting at $25.
For tickets and information, see the Bard web site.


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From This Author Richard Sasanow