Casanova may have been many things—a gambler, a clergyman, a reputed spy, a literary craftsman and, of course, a ladies’ man to rival Smoove B—but, improbably, David Greig’s play chooses to depict him as a colossal bore. It’s not completely Casanova’s fault. The result of a collaborative development process from which the words “bad idea” were apparently banished, “Casanova,” reimagining its titular subject as a contemporary art dealer, leaves him behind for long stretches while it explores the blossoming relationship between a revenge-mad cabinetmaker and the detective he has hired to expose our hero. The intrepid cabinetmaker is simultaneously charged with constructing the cabinets for an art exhibition displaying photographs of Casanova’s thousand and three or four conquests, an exhibition calculated to shock the sensibilities of a tranquilized nation. Get this—they’re literally tranquilized. Watching Collaboraction’s production, as one’s attention slowly drifts away, questions float by like discarded lovers. What new accent will soon appear to take its place in director Kimberly Senior’s menagerie? Why, exactly, does Casanova’s nubile young assistant wear a Renaissance ruff? Will Larry Neumann, Jr., whose Casanova bears a disturbing resemblance to Fall lead singer Mark E. Smith, ever grace us with his rendition of “Totally Wired”? Could Neil Strauss’s book be any worse than this? (John Beer)
This production is now closed.