Monday, October 29, 2012

Not Just For the Birds

Never mind the humdrum moralizing behind Folger Theatre's latest offering, "The Conference of the Birds, " taken from a 12th century Persian fable.  The creative team behind the work - first reinterpreted by director Peter Brook and actor Jean-Claude Carriere in 1971 - provides a mesmerizing display that is a delight for the eye whenever the ear tires. The text takes second place to the action directed by Aaron Posner. Rough brown fabric panels and mirrored posts cover the theater's small stage in front of which a talented cast of 11 actors improvise various bird and animal forms. Choreography and costumes are  top-notch.  Literally rising above the action is musician Tom Teasley, appropriately outfitted a colorful Arabic/Persian cap on a platform and accompanying the players with a range of traditional instruments. Kudos to the Folger ( as well for their equally imaginative exhibit on view in the Great Hall called "Very Like A Whale," showing the Renaissance mind at work combined with original photography of the present day.
The play runs through Nov. 25, 2012.

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