FATAL ATTRACTION: A GREEK TRAGEDY
Written by ALANA McNAIR and KATE WILKINSON
East 13th Street Theatre, 136 E. 13 St., NYC, www.fatalattractiontheplay.com
July 1 – August 27, 2005
Directed by TIMOTHY HASKELL
Set Design PAUL SMITHYMAN
Lighting Design TYLER MICOLEAU
Sound Design VINCENT OLIVIERI
Costume Design WENDY YANG
Fight Direction ROD KINTER
Dance Choreography REBECA RAMIREZ
Press Representative PUBLICITY OUTFITTERS
Chorus 2 (Zoltan) – Nick Arens
Chorus 3 (Octavius Maximus) – Sergio Lobito
Chorus 4 (Persimmon Walters) – Kellie Arens
Chorus 1 (Phaedra McQueen) – Ebony A. Cross
Ellen Hamilton Latzen – Aaron Haskell
Michael Douglas – Corey Feldman
Anne Archer – Kate Wilkinson
Glenn Close – Alana McNair
Everything old is new again these days, and the favorite decade to rediscover artistically the past few seasons seems to be the 80’s. It is only fitting then that like The Breakfast Club and Road House before it, one of the iconographic films of the decade, Fatal Attraction, has been revisited, repackaged, and realized as an off-Broadway play entitled FATAL ATTRACTION: A GREEK TRAGEDY. As parody, it has everything, the kitchen sink, and then some. There is Glenn Close’s unforgettable white suit and signature perm, there is Anne Archer’s domestic bliss that borders on oblivion, there is a little girl played by a grown man, a rabbit, a dream sequence that includes a dance number and a rabbit, and then there is Corey Feldman as Michael Douglas, doing some breakdance moves to enable infidelity.
The good news is that Mr. Feldman, making his stage debut with FATAL ATTRACTION: A GREEK TRAGEDY, is rather a success as, not so much Mr. Michael Douglas, but the harsh, hard and perhaps misogynistic characters that Douglas became famous for portraying. Not to be ignored, the set design, the grueling, sometimes on the ledge fight sequences and some solid, swift direction give this play an edge that the material itself does not possess.
In adapting the film for the stage and making the transition from drama to parody, authors and co-stars Alana McNair and Kate Wilkinson infused this FATAL ATTRACTION with a heavy hand of archetypal representations and an extremely esoteric sense of the absurd and the funny. Employing a modernized Greek chorus to explain the unraveling relationships and burgeoning disaster in lyrical line delivery while also using them to inject some well appointed nods to pop culture, including the display of a local newspaper with a Corey Feldman headline on the front page seems intended to force the audience into acknowledging the larger picture that FATAL ATTRACTION is meant to lampoon here. It is not merely a film, a decade or the culture of fame that this play skewers. By presenting the characters as popular actors who played famous roles, and then reducing those roles to extreme examples of type, the creators of this play have grasped onto the types of social phenomena that transcend the stage or the screen. To most attendees however, a play is just a play, and who but a handful of reviewers is opening things up to this level of analysis anyway?
So, I say, though I thought that FATAL ATTRACTION: A GREEK TRAGEDY could have been riotously funny, it does well enough as visually stimulating food for thought. Interesting, provocative, and a stab in the side of part of our collective consciousness as a media hungry society, who among us would want to be the one who missed not only the stage version of this infamous flick, but an 80’s child star’s debut too?
- Kessa De Santis -