N.C. State University Center Stage will present Jane Comfort and Company’s recent restaging of its warmly applauded 1993 dance/theater piece, Faith Healing, which uses Tennessee Williams’ stirring 1944 memory play The Glass Menagerie as its springboard, at 8 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 22nd, in Stewart Theatre on the second floor of the Talley Student Center. Based on Tennessee Williams’ text, as adapted by Jane Comfort and members of the company, Faith Healing premiered at PS122 in New York City. Later in 1993, it had an Off-Broadway run at Classic Stage Company and was performed in Raleigh, NC, as part of the NCSU Center Stage series.
According to N.C. State University Center Stage:
“Jane Comfort takes you to the edge — of brilliance, madness, love and tragedy — in her vividly drawn portraits of men and women who live there. Taking the story line of … The Glass Menagerie as its point of departure, Faith Healing is a blend of dance and theater, lip-synched film scenes, and delicate duets. Long-time Center Stage friends will note that this is a restaging of Jane Comfort’s wildly acclaimed 1993 work, with Mark Dendy slated to return in the role of Amanda (yes!).”
The 2010 cast for Faith Healing will also include Heather Christian, Leslie Cuyjet, Sean Donovan, and Matthew Hardy. (Besides Mark Dendy as Amanda, the show’s original cast included Nancy Alfaro as Laura, Scot Willingham as Tom, and David Neumann as the Gentleman Caller.
Jane Comfort will direct Faith Healing, which has been choreographed by Jane Comfort and Company and features original music by Richard Landry and Brooks Williams. Liz Prince designed the show’s sets and costumes, and David Ferri created its lighting design.
According to Jane Comfort and Company’s website, following its Raleigh engagement:
“The Joyce SoHo [in New York City] will produce … Faith Healing [on] Oct. 27-31 …. The work re-interprets [Tennessee] Williams’ play through a distillation of elements, focusing on the musicality and rhythm of the language, the telling psychology of movement, and the visualization of fantasy. Guest artist Mark Dendy, who won universal acclaim for his portrayal of Amanda Wingfield, will reprise his role for the Joyce SoHo’s revival of the work, which will also feature luscious costumes and sets by Bessie Award-winning designer Liz Prince, music by Richard Landry and Brooks Williams, and lighting by David Ferri. The National Performance Network [of New Orleans, LA] has commissioned the restaging for its 25th anniversary season. The Joyce season and NPN commission are supported by NEA American Masterpieces grants….”
Critical acclaim for the 1993 world-premiere production of Faith Healing included:
— The Washington Post: “Faith Healing stretches the limits of what is customarily meant by dance or drama to achieve a truly new form: a physicalized version of the play…. The performances are smashing.”
— The Village Voice: “Overjoyed at Comfort’s achievement, I wonder what it portends when the downtown dance hit of the year is a play.”
— The New York Times: “The five performers who make up the cast of Faith Healing are all gifted dancers. But the theater-dance piece by Jane Comfort also reveals what extraordinary actors they are. Ms. Comfort is clearly sensitive director. And she has found unusual and inspired ways to physicalize some of the central events straightforward and simple, and profoundly touching.”
SECOND OPINION: Oct. 17th Raleigh, NC News & Observer preview: http://www.newsobserver.com/2010/10/17/742453/ncsu-getting-faith-healing-before.html.
N.C. State University Center Stage presents Jane Comfort and Company in FAITH HEALING at 8 p.m. Oct. 22 in Stewart Theatre on the second floor of the Talley Student Center, 2610 Cates Ave., Raleigh, North Carolina 27695.
BOX OFFICE: 919/515-1100 or http://purchase.tickets.com/buy/TicketPurchase?organ_val=22089&event_val=JANE.
VIDEO PREVIEW: http://vimeo.com/5003869.
NOTE: There will be a preshow discussion at 7 p.m. with Jane Comfort in the Walnut Room, which is on the fourth floor of the Talley Student Center.
Faith Healing: http://www.janecomfortandcompany.org/repertory_faith_healing.html.
Jane Comfort and Company: http://www.janecomfortandcompany.org/home.html.
Robert W. McDowell is editor and publisher of Triangle Theater Review, a FREE weekly e-mail theatrical newsletter that provides more comprehensive, in-depth coverage of Raleigh, Durham, and Chapel Hill theater than all of the other news media combined. This review is reprinted with permission from Triangle Theater Review.
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