Thursday, January 13, 2005

From the New York Times (free registration required)

The Hazards of Fortune in the Age of Innocence

Published: January 13, 2005

Paula McGonagle stars as Lily Bart in "Innocents."

Even before "Innocents," the Ripe Time company's evocative interpretation of Edith Wharton's "House of Mirth," begins, the stage is set for a series of extended tableaux vivants.

Ensemble members in Victorian dress appear in the theater lobby, engaging in spirited banter. The audience files into the Ohio Theater across the stage itself, where a solitary young woman stands in a shaft of light, reading a book. The same tall, narrow door through which the audience has entered reveals the glimpse of a party in full swing, framed against a vivid red backdrop. This painterly pre-show image, held for a number of minutes, instantly establishes Lily Bart (Paula McGonagle) as both the antiheroine and ultimate outsider in Rachel Dickstein's impressionistic rendering of the literary classic. . . .

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