Hoodwinked by the flood of abstractions
…[Antoni Cimolino’s] production of Eduardo de Filippo’s “Grand Magic,” on the same stage as “Richard II,” is flat-out gorgeous — sets, costumes, music, everything — and always legible.
If only the play itself were.
Like “Much Ado,” it turns on a husband’s overweening jealousy, and his wife’s need to liberate herself, in this case with the help of a disappearing act.
Yet the play finally isn’t very interested in its story or even its characters except as vehicles for big ideas about identity and illusion. Playgoers drawn in by the captivating mise-en-scène may soon feel hoodwinked by the flood of abstractions. As a play, it’s its own disappearing act.
I don’t know what will happen to “Grand Magic” next; I barely know what happened during it.
[Note: this review is part of a collection in the CRITIC’S NOTEBOOK]Read Full Review08/29/2023