Archive for November, 2008

“The Monk,” No Nude Men Productions

November 8, 2008

Wow, this was insane. But really good! For the duration of the play I was inside the minds of people who were experiencing insanity, or something like it. Or at least that’s what it felt like. The play was constantly shifting points of view, and realities, and what was going on wasn’t always clear. But that was part of the pleasure of being in the audience. “The Monk” was full of surprises, right up until the very end. So I can’t really say what the story was, not right now, right after I’ve left the theater and haven’t had time to really unravel it and read the program notes and the souvenir comic book I bought afterwards. The thing that is most in my mind right now is that this was a tale about telling tales – and it was very well told.

The cast was really talented, and well directed. They were able to weave in and out of all these complicated things that were going on, but at no point did I lose interest. Quite the opposite – I was fascinated by it. This is the third production I’ve seen from “No Nude Men,” and I’m really impressed with how they put on a show. I loved their updated versions of “Love’s Labors Lost” and “Hamlet.” “The Monk” was, at times, spooky, mysterious and funny, which makes it a perfect play to see around this time of year. Halloween is over, but it gets dark earlier and the nights are longer, and it’s the season for ghosts, murder and magic. It was also a good neighborhood to see it in: the second act of the story takes place in catacombs and tombs and underworld labyrinths, and when I walked outside afterwards I felt like that’s where I was.

Whew. I’ve only been doing this blog for a couple of months, and I usually wait a few days to write and post my comments after I see a new play. But it seems like a gut reaction is appropriate for “The Monk,” so I’m going to go ahead and put this online less than an hour after seeing it. The play was an intense, visceral experience, and this is my reaction. But I don’t want it to sound too creepy – it was fun! Go see it!

Pax, Vox