If being born under a black cloud or a tall ladder are indications of bad luck, what is the significance of being brought into this world in a year of thirteen moons? For Erwin, a product of an upbringing in an orphanage, the consequences are tragic.
To enter Erwin's bizarre world of troubles and despairs, cautiously proceed to the Yale Repertory Theatre in New Haven to become immerced in the world premiere adaptation of "In a Year with 13 Moons," based on a German movie and screenplay by Rainer Werner Fassbinder, adapted for the stage by Bill Camp, who stars in it, and Robert Woodruff, who directs it. It will run until Saturday, May 18.
When the object of his affection casually comments to Erwin, "too bad you're not a girl," it sets him on an odyssey with profound consequences. A trip to Casablanca results in Erwin becoming Elvira in a blind effort to love and be loved.
Bill Camp's confusing journey as Erwin/Elvira includes killing animals in a slaughterhouse, being brutally attacked for his/her sexuality, almost choking to death, fathering a child, watching a stranger commit suicide and confronting the man, one Anton Saitz (Christopher Innvar) who started him on his futile quest and much, much more.
The play spirals out of control as Elvira experiences the last five days of her life, revisiting that major guideposts that led her to her current state of loneliness, despair and agony.
For tickets ($20-96), call the Yale Rep, 1120 Chapel Street, New Haven at 203-432-1234 or online at www.yalerep.org.
This densely layered drama that gives new meaning to avant-garde theatre is suited for the brave of heart willing to challenge the unknown.