THE JUDGE (STEVEN SKYBELL) AND GRUSKA (SHAUNETTE RENEE WILSON)
PHOTO BY CAROL ROSEGG
Brecht has penned this epic folk tale and courtesy of the Yale Repertory
Theatre, you can be swept away in its all encompassing drama, in "The
Caucasian Chalk Circle," until Saturday, April 11 at the University
Theatre, 222 York Street, New Haven.
The political regime in
Grusinia is being toppled and the Governor loses everything, up to and
including his head. With appreciation to the ever present and singing
narrator/storyteller Azdak (Steven Skybell), we are privy to all the
action, the disputes, the adventures, the conflicts, the battle of good
versus evil and the struggle for justice. This parable is long in the
telling, but filled with amazing scenic designs and unique special
effects, courtesy of Chika Shimizu, that make the odyssey more
enjoyable, like melting icicles and a perilous trek across a foot
One moment Grusha is being wooed by the friendly soldier
Simon (Jonathan Majors) and the next she is putting her own life at risk
as she flees with the infant Michael in tow, trying to find a safe
place for them to hide. The blood thirsty Ironshirt soldiers are in
swift pursuit. All the turmoil has been set in motion by the Fat
Prince, the Governor's brother, (Jesse J. Perez) who causes the coup.
Grusha protects her "little burden," engaging in actions to unselfishly
shield him, like marrying a man Yussep (Aubre Merrylees) on his death
bed to give the baby a legitimate name, she finds herself in a court of
law. Natella has returned to claim her son and the vast estates that are
now his. A large chalk circle is drawn to establish his true parentage
and a crafty judge has the powers to sway the court's verdict.
Diamond directs this well crafted tale with hints of humor sprinkled
through the life threatening action, with original music by David Lang, musical direction by Daniel
Schlosberg, in this work translated by James and Tania Stern and W. H.
For tickets ($20-99), call the Yale /Repertory Theatre at 203-432-1234 or online at www.yalerep.org. Performances are Tuesday to Saturday at 8 p.m., Saturday at 2 p.m. and occasional Wednesdays at 2 p.m.
witness the drama of young Michael (Kourtney Savage and Fred Thornley
IV) being placed in the center of the chalk circle in a true King
Solomon moment in time.