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DC Arts Center
All shows at 7:30 p.m.:
Friday, July 10th; Saturday, July 11th; Sunday, July 12th; Thursday, July 16th; Saturday, July 18th; Sunday, July 19th; Wednesday, July 22nd;Thursday, July 23rd; Friday, July 24th; Saturday, July 25th; Sunday, July 26th
They Say: “Paris 1890. In a moving effort to rescue his brother’s legacy, Theo van Gogh revisits Vincent’s turbulent life, offering insight into the world of the tormented artist. The world of the misunderstood genius is recreated in this poignant and intimate meditation.”
Glen’s Take: Yeah, pretty much. Especially the ‘intimate’ part.
In a tiny space tucked behind the DC Arts Center (up the stairs, then down the stairs, turn right), Theatre du Jour founder B. Stanley‘s delivering a precise, finely modulated performance as a heartsick Theo Van Gogh.
It’s barely a week after the passing of his beloved brother Vincent, and Theo just wants to clear up a few things, okay? As he paces Vincent’s abandoned studio (neatly evoked by a stark blank canvas and scattered tubes of paint), Theo addresses some lingering misconceptionsand outright liesspread by ignorant townsfolk and that bastard, Paul Gauguin.
It might sound as if we’re in unreliable narrator territory here, but that’s not a game that playwright Leonard Nimoy (I KNOW, right?) seems much interested in playing. No, we’re meant to see Theo’s passionate protestations as straightforward testaments to just how much he loved his brother. After a while, you might find yourself hankering for things to get a bit more juicy, a bit more shaded with unspoken meaning, but Stanley’s performance is so grounded and sincere you can’t help but take the guy at his word.
See it if: You need a break from the hurlyburly, and are looking to sample some things from down on the quieter, more contemplative end of the Fringe salad bar.
Skip it if: You were kind of hoping this write-up would have some Spock jokes in it.
(Although to be honest, it was touch and go, right up to the end.)