Get SF Weekly Newsletters
Pin It

"Oscar Wilde's The Picture of Dorian Gray": Theater Review 

Wednesday, Sep 8 2010
Comments

Theatre Rhinoceros' award-winning artistic director, John Fisher, is ambitious and rather prolific. Not only did he direct and star in this three-plus-hour adaptation of Oscar Wilde's only novel, he also wrote it. It's impressive in many areas (costumes, acting, commitment), but it's too long — perhaps because it's overly faithful to the original. Fisher stays true to Wilde's controversial tale of Dorian Gray (played by Aaron Martinsen), who remains young and handsome while his painted portrait changes with the ravages of hedonism and age. Fisher is deft as Lord Henry Wotton, Gray's guide into temptation, but it's hard to overcome the fact that both lead characters are unrelentingly despicable and narcissistic. Many scenes are bogged down with unending moralistic platitudes, something Fisher, if he had been been more willing to deviate from the source material, could have tempered in his adaptation. Choreographer Lia Metz stylizes some of the more dramatic moments, but to witness suicide and murder in pantomime, underscored by bursts of operatic music, feels out of place. Fisher is quite a talent, and with a bit of streamlining, Gray could be an important piece in the theatrical canon.

About The Author

Nathaniel Eaton

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Popular Stories

  1. Most Popular Stories
  2. Stories You Missed

Slideshows

  • clipping at Brava Theater Sept. 11
    Sub Pop recording artists 'clipping.' brought their brand of noise-driven experimental hip hop to the closing night of 2016's San Francisco Electronic Music Fest this past Sunday. The packed Brava Theater hosted an initially seated crowd that ended the night jumping and dancing against the front of the stage. The trio performed a set focused on their recently released Sci-Fi Horror concept album, 'Splendor & Misery', then delved into their dancier and more aggressive back catalogue, and recent single 'Wriggle'. Opening performances included local experimental electronic duo 'Tujurikkuja' and computer music artist 'Madalyn Merkey.'"