Teasing Our Sensibilities
Director Dustin Wills soaks and intoxicates the audience with Baal, Brecht’s first and most juvenile play, foretelling best elements of epic theatre. We enter Night Cloud Cabaret, masterfully designed by Lisa Laratta, and enjoy a chorus of actors who frolic through the fourth wall in prologue, patter in view, costuming (beautifully) and vocalizing with intriguing affect, and delivering scene transitions with playful movement vocabulary. Gab Luna as drunk-poet-musician-narcissist-antihero (Baal) teases our sensibilities brilliantly for an “arduous” 3 hours. Kimberly Adams steals the show musically and is sheer delight in her roles. The plot is fragmented, dramatic arc hard to discern, and yet this play may be a requirement for serious students of theater. The average lay audience may resonate, however, with Ekart (well played by Joey Hood) when he questions Baal: “what is the purpose of this hoax?” Only the 20 year-old theatre student at Munich University (1918) knows for sure.