Filmmaker Guy Maddin has built a spectacular career from his reworking of the silent-film aesthetic. His films discover the potential both for defamiliarizing humor and raw emotion that our distance from these old conventions creates. Silent Theatre Company’s adaptation of Frank Wedekind’s German Expressionist play “Lulu” doesn’t quite reach the sublime heights of Maddin’s films, but it has a similar sense of love for an art that time has passed by. “Lulu,” the source of G. W. Pabst’s classic film “Pandora’s Box,” centers on a sexually voracious young woman whose husbands repeatedly turn up dead. Kyla Louise Webb, following in the formidable fishnets of Louise Brooks, acquits herself well; her saucer-like eyes and pouting mouth make her perfect flapper material. Director Tonika Todorova, reviving her 2002 production, coordinates a sizable cast fluidly. And the ensemble conveys giddy excitement and melodramatic horror with exuberant gesture and facial expression, abetted by projected intertitles. Not everything goes off without a hitch. Particularly in the first third of the show, overly harsh lighting leaves too many faces in shadow, and occasionally titles were apparently passed over, obscuring a couple of plot points. Despite these foibles, “Lulu’s” energetic strangeness makes it a fine late-night theatre destination. (John Beer)
This production is now closed.