|ART brings on das
Brecht, das funk
CAMBRIDGE The new season at the American Repertory Theater, announced last week, is a pointed departure from the theaters normal fare of classic plays by classic playwrights. This year, the theater is instead featuring obscure plays from classic playwrights.
Some of these are simply new compilations of works, such as next months "Bucket Full of Ibsen." Among the other obscure plays featured this year will be Anton Chekhovs gender-bending sequel "Auntie Vanya" and Noel Cowards "Look at Me, Im Gay!"
But the biggest buzz at the ART this year is about the American premiere of Bertolt Brechts musical "Anya!" Brechts dark tale of an American orphan adopted by a war profiteer was later "bastardized," according to ART artistic director Danielle Toll, into the musical "Annie" which became the toast of Broadway.
"Brecht hated the Little Orphan Annie comic strip," said Toll, "and he wrote a play which relentlessly unmasked its capitalist underpinnings. Brechts focus was not on the eyeball-less orphan but on the insidious system which stole her eyeballs from her."
Like its American counterpart, Brechts play begins with Anya alone on stage singing about how sad she is to be a slave of the state. But there is still hope in her song.
Maybe well uprise
Anya is forcibly removed from her state-sponsored home and put under the charge of Daddy War-Bucks-Greed-Lies who tries to convince Anya to bring down the system from within ("Youll Never Successfully Rebel Without a Smile"). Anya, however, recognizing that her foster parents co-optation, runs away to start her own colony of subversive artists. Anya and her artist friends join in song:
The Government will fall
Tickets go on sale next week. $65 orchestra, $55 balcony.