Sunday, December 27, 2015
This Nut Was Hard To Crack!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Anyone who has been on here, reading me long enough, knows I am no lightweight, when it comes to culture. I am very up front about when I cannot understand something. For example, there are two movies whose comprehensibility still elude me--"2,001--A Space Odyssey," and "Last Year At Marienbad."
Now, add to these Mark Morris' "The Hard Nut." Or, at least the second act of it.
I was all set for a spoof of "The Nutcracker." I could have handled that. And the first act is pretty straightforward--an updated version of the party scene, in a twentieth century house, guests walking in like they just came from the East Village, partners simulating sex, gender switching, and a slutty teenage daughter. I loved her. No house should be without one.
I also loved the evil, psychotic rat, and how the tree growing sequence was accomplished by the old fashioned use of breakaway scenery; something I had not witnessed in a long time, and had forgotten how wonderful it is when put to good use. As it is here.
But once this ballet gets to the dream sequence of Act Two, all sense goes out the window. There is no variation on Mother Ginger--a major disappointment for me--but the story concocted is so confusing; something about a baby who is disfigured, and can only be made beautiful, by someone cracking the hard nut. At least, this is how much I got out of the story.
It is beautifully danced, costumed and choreographed. The set design actually blew me away--a mixture of styles from Georges Melies to David Lynch. But to what purpose I found myself repeatedly asking. And so did my beloved.
I thought, from the title, "The Hard Nut" would have gay male connotations. They are hinted at, but I think Morris spread himself too thin in trying to parody a classic. Parody at its best has to make sense, and this one does not.
A person would have to be nuts, to sit through this one, again!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!