Toils and Troubles

Remember when two different theater companies simultaneously decided to stage (restage?) James Baldwin and William Buckley’s 1965 debate?

Usually, in the theater world, we only get multiple takes on similar/the same text when a new revival of a certifiable classic comes to town.

Which is why it’s a wonder that consecutive seasons will provide us with a more novel approach to such retacklings.

European-stalwart-of-the-avant-garde director Thomas Ostermeier’s adaptation of Édouard Louis’ novel Who killed my father is now playing at St. Ann’s Warehouse, starring Louis himself. Flash forward to September, and European-stalwart-of-the-avant-garde director Ivo van Hove’s adaptation of Who killed my father opens at London’s Young Vic (not starring Louis).

Philistines of the avant-garde won’t understand the monumentality of this (coincidental?) doubling; two titans of their form both setting their simultaneous sights on the same, relatively new material?! A more accessible comparison, from the land of movies: it would be like if Martin Scorsese and Steven Spielberg each directed their own movie adaptation of the same, hot-off-the-presses, uncanonical novel, released within the span of a few months.

Yeah, so who wants to pay my way to London in, oh I don’t know, say mid-September??

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