Tuesday, 4 October 2016


     The fact that we in the audience are more or less sworn to secrecy about what transpires in WHITE RABBIT, RED RABBIT, a one-person  (with help from the audience) show written by young Iranian writer, Nassim Soleimanpour, reflects the police state the playwright lives in. The play has echoes of Beckett, but one is always aware of a political subtext. The story that gives the play its title is about creatures turning on one another as they fight for a single carrot and suffer punishment if they don't get it. What happens to identity when you have to hide so much of yourself? Suicide can seem the best option. There are many, playful funny moments in the 75 minute show, but it has a bitter core.
     The gimmick of the play and this production is that at the outset of each performance the actor or actress is handed the script which he/she has never seen or read before. The cold reading is part of the experience of the play, the surprise of the performer as she/he experiences the script for the first time--as the audience experiences the play for the first time (though I am sure many folks come back to see how different performers deal with the script). The producers have amassed an amazing lineup of one-time-only performers beginning with Nathan Lane and including both men and women. I saw operatic diva Joyce DiDonato, who was delightful in the light passages and effective in the darker moments, which I think surprised her. Of course there were a lot of opera fans in the packed house who cheered her on. She got the sort of ovation at her entrance that most performers dream of getting.
     That's all I can tell you. See it for yourself. I'll be going back.

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