I went to see “Samurai 7.0: Under Construction” last night, performed by Beau Jest Moving Theater. (Reviews here, and here.) It’s basically a stage adaptation of Kurosawa’s “Seven Samurai”.
It had funny bits, a good bit or two, and a well-choreographed melee scene at the end. On the whole, however, I felt it was disjoint. They make references to other movies with ‘seven’ in them: “Seven Brides for Seven Brothers”, “Snow White and the Seven Dwarves”, and of course, “The Magnificent Seven”. They had bits from Shakespeare, they made self-references about getting grants to do the show, there was a sort of constant thread of theatre talk (samurai auditioning, samurai with other shows as conflicts). They used puppets, shadow puppets, and toys, which worked a little better than I expected. With only eight performers, I think they handled multiple roles quite well.
However, I suppose I expected something that was more strongly narrative. They did basically follow the plot from beginning to end, but there was a lot of random stuff tacked on that I felt interrupted the flow. I felt like a lot of the business was gimmicky, and that they could have contrived a way to serve the narrative with the prop play and other things. There were a few places where they did use, say, the projection above the stage to substitute dialog, which worked, but for the most part, the business was a distraction. I felt like there were no sustained scenes, and that they shied away from any attempt at holding any particular emotional moment.
Technorati Tags: beau jest, boston, samurai 7.0, theater