The music is vintage, undeniably good, Waits; the writing is bizarre Burroughs at his best, and Robert Wilson, as regular readers might remember, is one of our favorite performance artists. My only slight hesitation in recommending this work is the datedness of the visuals and lighting. It’s a revival from 1990, and it shows. If you approach the work from a historical perspective, though, rather than as seeing it as cutting edge theater, you won’t be disappointed.
During intermission we overheard someone ask, “is this what you’d call avant-garde theater?”
No, madam, it is veritable convention these days. But don’t let that spoil it for you: just like you won’t go to the upcoming Rauchenberg retrospective to see the direction contemporary art is going (except in a potentially influential revival sort of way), don’t go to The Black Rider to see where theater is going, but to see the path that led us to where it is now.
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