Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Gatsby personified

by Stacey

Before I had kids, I had time and money to go to the theater. I went a lot and really enjoyed it. I also read (and still read) a lot, both for work and in my personal time. I was pretty fascinated by two recent pieces in the New York Times about the new show, Gatz by Elevator Repair Service at The Public Theater, one by Charles McGrath and the other by Ben Brantley. Although McGrath has some criticism about the play's approach, both pieces describe the show as such an interesting and experimental way to adapt a book, and I love the way Ben Brantley explains the connections between reading and watching a show. It sounds like this clever and contemporary retelling of a classic book brings on stage brings it to life in such a unique and exhilarating way. I like how Brantley explains it: "Books and theater are different arts, and they frame reality in different ways. This is the first time I have ever felt those frames become one."

Our business is changing all the time, and with books seeing so many transformations in the digital arena, this feels more in my comfort zone, like a big bowl of mac and cheese. An interpretation of a classic and well-known book that's played out live and in person, on a stage with actors and a simple set, using familiar words in an unfamiliar way. If any of you lucky readers have a chance to see the show, let us know what you think since I don't think I'm getting there this time around.

3 comments:

  1. I wonder where "ebook" stops and "movie" begins. I'm writing a book on horse racing and have official patrol films, those viewed by racing officials to police the races, to embed in the text. I imagine this will become the norm. How will this affect the flow of narrative and readers'expectations? I guess we'll see.

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  2. I was lucky enough to see Gatz last winter in Cambridge, MA, and it was the best theatrical experience of my entire life. You should pull out all the stops and call in every favor you need to in order to get a babysitter and see it.

    Nancy Werlin

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  3. I would love to see this - Gatsby is one of my favorite books of all time. And how silly did I feel watching the credits of The Curious Case of Benjamin Button when I realized it was adapted from a Fitzgerald story? No wonder I liked that movie so much.

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