Photo by Don Kellogg

Thursday, December 3, 2015


New York Theater Workshop is known for its bold, interpretive, and artistic productions.  This latest installment is no different.  Based on a 1963 novel, The Man Who Fell to Earth, by Walter Tevis and a subsequent 1976 movie by Nicholas Roeg (and a 1987 television adaption which differed with the original material), this musical by David Bowie (music) and Enda Walsh (Book) is a bizarre, fantastical, and imaginative look in to the mind of a man.

Make no bones about it - this production, by its very nature, is bizarre.  Very bizarre.  It's like Clockwork Orange meets Next to Normal.  The play itself has always been discordant, imaginative, and vague.  It's the nature of dreams, insanity, and mental illness.  Helmed by hot Belgian experimental "it" director, Ivo van Hove, this particular production adds potent, strong, and lavish music to the equation.  The combination is magical.  Throw in a dazzling special effects of a large media screen and magnificent projections and you find yourself immersed in an evening of pure fantasy.

Mr. Newton is the center of our attention - A Mad, deranged, dreamer played by the indomitable  Michael C. Hall.  With the rage and angst of a madman he owned the role from the first maddening minute to the last.  His maid, Elly (Cristin Meloti), was the perfect malleable, innocent companion. Valentine, an incarnation of the devil perhaps, a madman at the very least was played to the hilt by the Michael Esper. A cast of other interlopers contributed to the mesmerizing, magical, and fantastic evening in the theater.  Perhaps the most talented and poignant performers on the whole stage was Sophia Anne Caruso (Girl).  She is perhaps vocal perfection.

And let's not forget the incredible band behind the glass wall,  They rocked.  As a result, we rocked.