Directed and adapted by Daniel Fish; Freely inspired by the novel by Don DeLillo
Off Broadway, Experimental Solo Show
Ran through 9.22.19
NYU Skirball, 566 LaGuardia Place
by Keith Paul Medelis on 9.22.19
Bruce McKenzie in White Noise. Photo by Paula Court.
BOTTOM LINE: Bruce McKenzie's smart, coherent performance saves Daniel Fish’s adaptation of Don DeLillo’s White Noise, which would otherwise be an annoying series of lists.
Row of white lights shines in your face as you walk in—an untoward beginning as young German schoolchildren introduce themselves in a large video. Large white screen dominates as we begin to be barraged with a series of hypnotic lists of words and phrases.
Man in plain dress clothes, single black tie sits inside a circular opening in the video screen, a small mic chord the only thing to disturb the otherwise stark white backdrop that projects all sorts of maybe connected objects. Elvis Presley in the later years, a Hitler rally, a woman lying in a bed of stark white bed sheets, a man later lies beside her who we have to struggle to understand is not the man in plain dress clothes which will prove important if you’ve read the book but instead we just keep getting lists and lists.
Tensions rise as the children become bruised and bloody. Warning sirens, static on the television set, Pantone blue, billowing gray smoke. Warnings of disaster. Lists, lists, lists. The camera backs away as the German schoolchildren are seen having their disaster makeup applied by an artist. Hard to say what it means. Patience is required. McKenzie manages to stay totally connected, at times with just a subtle pause before one phrase in the many lists elicits laughter. Hard to say why. Maybe some psychedelics would help.
(White Noise played at NYU Skirball, 566 LaGuardia Place, September 20-22 2019. The running time is 70 minutes. Tickets are $55-$65. For more information on NYU Skirball visit nyuskirball.org.)
White Noise is freely adapted and directed by Daniel Fish. Text from the novel by Don DeLillo. Scenic Design by Andrew Leiberman. Video Design by Jim Findlay. Score and live music by Bobby Previte. Costume Design by Doey Lüthl. Lighting Design by Stacey Derosier. Sound Design by Eric Sluyter. Associate Director and Stage Manager is Alexandra Kuechler Caffall.
The cast is Bruce McKenzie.