|The many selves of Liza Elliott: Lady in the Dark Act I|
Photo © Staatstheater Mainz/Martina Pipprich
Matthias Fontheim, departing Intendant of Mainz's Staatstheater, has directed a production of Kurt Weill's effervescent 1941 satire, "Lady in the Dark," as an exuberant, celebratory sendoff. (If this season and what I've heard of past and future ones are anything to go by, the celebration is deserved.) The fluid staging made admirable use of a turntable in portraying protagonist Liza Elliott's varied environments, real and imagined. The saturated color and lively stage pictures would have been aptly suited to an MGM extravaganza of the time of the piece's creation (synopsis and more here
.) I very much enjoyed the evening; while the vogue for psychoanalysis dramas (cf. this and this) has dated, Weill's keen take on the pressures on women (and men) transgressing expected social and gender roles remains pointedly relevant. Mainz's production cheerfully suggests that our best hope lies in facing these problems without taking ourselves too seriously.