Few in the theater are better qualified to do so than the director Joe Tantalo and his Off Broadway troupe, Godlight Theater Company, which has made a specialty of exuberant, muscular adaptations of literate science fiction…skillfully adapted by Eric Simonson of the Steppenwolf Theater Company in Chicago, this stage version of “Slaughterhouse-Five” faithfully retains the novel’s pivotal moments…this is a pressure-cooker production, an intense, kaleidoscopic 90-minute tour without intermission through Vonnegut’s nonlinear narrative…meticulously choreographed by Hachi Yu and Josh Renfree, the play barrels forward in a breathless succession of snapshots, punctuated by Andrew Recinos’s synthesized audio accents, Maruti Evans’s Expressionistic production design and the book’s bleak humor...this is the theater, which is supposed to awaken our emotions. Here it goes well.
And for those who can’t get enough of Kurt Vonnegut’s Slaughterhouse-Five should head to the 59E59 Theaters in New York for a theatrical adaptation by Eric Simonson…this is an in-your-face take on the story…the spare set and theater-in-the-round arrangement capture the intimacy of the story perfectly…the cast is outstanding.
Joe Tantalo’s staging is visually haunting.
The result is absorbing, particularly when (director) Tantalo and (designer) Evans transition between Billy’s waking moments and his dreams…the blending of the two states is captivating.
Riveting, devastating…an uplifting production…go see Slaughterhouse-Five. It’s remarkable theatre—cathartic, profound, and absolutely essential…Tantalo realizes this fantasia as a kind of wonderland brought to life, with the fractured narrative mirrored by similarly fractured staging, a spare, unrealistic set, and Maruti Evans’s extraordinarily evocative (almost hallucinogenic) lighting; the effect is to bring us as close to a four-dimensional theatrical happening as it’s possible for us three-dimensional types to get. Andrew Recinos’s masterful music and sound design contributes mightily to the experience.
Working with Eric Simonson’s stage adaptation, (director) Tantalo has indeed again created a stylishly unconventional theatrical experience…Tantalo’s tight direction and the dynamic visual and sound elements go a long way to make the play stand on its own, and keep the audience engaged even when they’re lost in the maze of Billy’s life.
The fearless Godlight Theatre Company has the nerve to attempt a version on a small stage with an adaptation by Eric Simonson and a valiant ensemble cast…the staging under the direction of Joe Tantalo is honorable and impressive.
The work is so involving…excellent staging by director Joe Tantalo…acting is good all around…fans of Vonnegut and Godlight should make tracks to see this one before it vanishes into the mists.