Thursday, October 01, 2009

A Confederacy of Dunces

{A} and I saw the Seattle world-premier production of A Confederacy of Dunces at the Book-it Repertory this past weekend.

I was a little nervous - this book is full of zany characters and a takes place in several locations around 1960s New Orleans, a place with a unique culture. Capturing all that on stage would be hard... The good news is I think the production mostly did a great job - the leads were fantastic, Brandon Whitehead as Ignatius Reilly, and Ellen McLain as his mother were pretty much perfect and just as I imagined the characters.

Todd Licea made a great Mr. Levy and Kevin McKeon was great as Mr. Clyde, the proprietor of Paradise Hot Dogs. (His portrayal of Claude Robichaux was a bit too old and doddering for me...)
Charles Norris was good as Burma Jones - perhaps not as towering a figure as I had imagined when I read the book, but he played him with a nice "cool cat" attitude.

The ending felt a bit rushed and too hard to follow for people that didn't have the book freshly in their memory. The play probably will be most appealing to people that know and love the book and can put up with the minor flaws in the script, set or performances. People that have never read the book will have fun most of the way through, and hopefully will get their curiosity piqued enough to want to check out the book.

I leave you with a link to the Ignatius' Ghost blog, which takes you on a tour of modern New Orleans looking for the locations mentioned in the book.

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