Tuesday, December 7, 2010

The saddest music in the world

Alec Duffy writes plays, directs, acts, sings, composes, runs a theatre company, and I'm probably forgetting something but in any case you should go see Three Pianos, which the creators describe as "Schubert's Wintereisse exploded." The mad band of collaborators on this piece includes Rachel Chavkin, one of our most important directors.

Alec directed the Lincoln Center Director's Lab workshop of my errant comedy Green Zone, and has been known to play Paul, a sensitive rock star (all sensitive rock stars are named Paul), in A Maze. But I'm primarily just a fan of his. All great artists are obsessives, as we know, and Three Pianos is at least Alec's third Schubert-related play.

He has created works of surprising stillness, like Dysphoria and The Less We Talk, but this stillness may be deceptive. To be Zen also means to be inquiring, and it might turn out that he is not so much this era's John Cage as its Kurt Vonnegut.