elevator repair service: every damn word Sep 22, 2007
However, anyone expecting wild experimental theater will be surprised and possibly disappointed; though it's presented in the context of a dingy underground office and filtered through the lives of the various workers, this is not a parody, and not a project that uses a text as a leaping-off point to create something other. This is a sincere presentation of The Great Gatsby -- and is a vastly superior interpretation than Seattle Rep's recent travesty. By the end, though, it's hard not to have some doubts about just how necessary it was to recite the entire book; Fitzgerald really flogs his themes in that last chapter, and the refusal to edit a single word smacks of preciousness. This doesn't outweigh the show's many pleasures and illuminating moments, but the conclusion of this gesture towards purity or faithfulness feels more like a feat of endurance than art, one that left me admiring but not moved.
-- Bret Fetzer