Magazine article The Nation

Der Ring Gott Farblonjet

Magazine article The Nation

Der Ring Gott Farblonjet

Article excerpt

Der Ring Gott Farblonjet is Charles Ludiam's version of Wagner's Ring cycle and further proof that the author's plays don't require his supervisory presence to succeed. Ludlam's more passionate admirers credit him with mythopoeic depths and modernist luminescence my own antennas don't register, but it may be that that is the only way they know to applaud him. Ludlam surely deserves applause, and so does Everett Quinton, who directs this redesigned production with zest, nuance and a brisker tempo that cuts almost an hour from the running time of the original 1977 production.

Quinton also undertakes the role of "das uglische Dwarf Alverruck:' Of him one Rheinmaiden observes, "Er kommt nicht das wasser zu trinken!" To which Alverruck replies, with a leer, "I came some tuschies zu pinchen." The Rheinmaidens reply, "Fie!" "Foh!" and "Faugh! Horny beast! " Wagner's story lends itself at almost every point to such sillification, and Ludlam has a romp stirring Yiddish idioms into fractured German (as in the title), and scrawling Mona Lisa mustaches on the various gods and demigods. Mark Bennett contributes a musical score that mixes the better-known leitmotifs with the likes of "Love Is a Many-splendored Thing:' but most of the dialogue is spoken, and if you think about it, you're halfway to travesty delivering any opera's libretto with the music wrung out.

One of the signature features of the Ridiculous Theatrical Company's productions has been a gender-free casting policy. …

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