Krapp’s Last Tape

After a bit of a hiatus, I was once again compelled to make the trek to Montclair State University last night for their incredible Peak Performances series. One of the first performances I ever attended there was in 2013 when I saw the delightful Robert Wilson production of Zinnias: The Life of Clementine Hunter. It was a romp. Robert Wilson is arguably one of the most exciting creative forces in theater today. For as many of his signature productions I have had the pleasuring of experiencing (such as Einstein on the Beach,) I have missed just as many (The Threepenny Opera, for instance. Bummer.) His distinctive sets, lighting design, color palettes and sense of movement and staging create a theater experience like no other. In a thrilling role reversal last night I sat transfixed while Robert Wilson himself performed in his own production of Samuel Beckett’s Krapp’s Last Tape. Wow. I was completely enthralled watching the master himself perform in his own world of sound, gesture and setting. From the moment the piece began, I sat transfixed in what I call “Robert Wilson Time.” He always stretches my experience of the moment — in this particular instance with an unrelenting soundtrack and infinitesimal movements. It can often be excruciating to endure, and so can Samuel Beckett, so the pairing was perfect: it hurts so good. Wilson’s Krapp made me squirm in the best kind of discomfort. If you have not heard of The Peak Performance series, you should definitely check it out. It is extremely well-curated and worth the effort to head to New Jersey for the evening. You can even purchase a round-trip charter bus ticket to get there. They make it very easy for NYC audiences to attend their performances, and I appreciate that.

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