gwalla (gwalla) wrote,

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"Achors away with the black rider / I'll drink your blood like wine"

I went to see a matinee showing of The Black Rider: The Casting of the Magic Bullets today at ACT with my folks. It was very...different. And good. Very strange. It's a musical, with book by William S. Burroughs and music by Tom Waits, and directed by Robert Wilson (the co-creator with Philip Glass of Einstein on the Beach). The story is based on a German folktale ("The Free-shooter"), and the production is heavily influenced by German expressionism: the actors wear white face paint, the story is disjointed and strange, and the set design is very abstract. It's like a demented cabaret show. Marianne Faithfull plays Pegleg (the devil), although her substitute was playing it at the show I saw.

The story is pretty simple, although the telling of it is surreal: a clerk is in love with the daughter of a hunter, but the father doesn't want his daughter marrying someone who can't hunt. After trying and failing to catch game, the clerk makes a deal with Pegleg for a set of magic bullets ("The first one is always free!" says Pegleg). With these bullets, the clerk has no trouble killing several animals. However, "there are some bullets that are intended for a single target, and no matter where you aim will hit that target. It could be a particular animal...or a particular person..."

I recommend seeing it. If you're in the Bay Area, you should get tickets quickly, because it only lasts until Oct. 10 and it's been really popular.

After that, I had an excellent meal of seafood at Tadich Grill. All in all, a good day.
Tags: diary


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