The Cherry Lane Kairos Italy Theater produced the US premiere of No Escape, four monologues by playwright Dino Buzzati. The short plays ran in English and in their original Italian, with different actors and directors taking on the English and Italian versions. Sara and Kate saw two of the plays, The Clock and Striptease.
Irma’s life is stuck in a cycle of past and present, constantly revisiting the poisoning of her husband. She is haunted by the clock of her late husband, stuck in a hell of her own fate. This monologue is the only one of the four in which English and Italian are performed side by side. This structure is a decisive victory for the monologue. Lucia Grillo (English) performs her parts with a seductive, femme-fatale attitude while Amy Frances Quint (Italian) performs hers with meek timidity. Not only are they performing two different languages, they’re two different pants of the same Irma. It’s remarkable how the monologue is used for the purposes of each woman’s personality. However, the monologue’s climax comes at its haunting end when the two Irmas face each other and, sent back in time by the chiming clock, switch roles so that seductive Irma is now helpless and pure Irma is corrupt.
Velia is a shrewd prostitute whose plans don’t always work out the way she intends them to. After one of her wealthy clients dies before he can change his will, Velia attempts to forge a life for herself only to come to a deadly downfall.
In this play, the English version ran first, followed by a short intermission and the Italian version. Striptease, directed and performed by Marta Mondelli, presents a calculated, in control Velia who always knows what she wants and how she’ll get it. When she speaks to a new character, she removes an item of clothing, leaving her to confront death wearing only a black chemise in her final scene. Stathis Dafalias’ haunting music complements Velia’s downward progression.
Watching Spogliarello, made clear that each version was different. Laura Caparrotti’s Velia is lively and playful as she takes the stage with humor. She enjoys her relationship with her john and is always ready to seduce her way out of her troubles. Her “striptease” is also messier, as her clothes are strewn about the stage and her emotions change from moment to moment. Velia’s death is not a foregone conclusion when her life had so much promise.
Sara is a Brooklynite with hopes of being that cool English Literature teacher/professor you totally loved. She also has a passion for theater, knitting, and traveling. One day, she’d like to emulate the life of one of her favorite poets by moving to London and writing poetry about cats.
Kate is an actor/writer/singer with an addiction to theatre, blogs, and thai iced tea. Her reading tastes range from Victorian classics to mass market romance novels and everything in between. Kate loves to see Shakespeare, musicals, and British imports. And laughing loudly in the risers.
Check out their blog: Letters from the Mezzanine