It is a mixture of devoted adaptation and fanciful splicing. It is the middle flooring between artistry and commercialism, between low-cost prices and premiums, and it lies in London correct now nevertheless targets for the summit of Broadway. It is a play we title . . . “The Twilight Zone.”
The Almeida Theatre in London has profitable on its fingers: a stage mannequin of Rod Serling’s enduring ’60s sci-fi television sequence. It’s one amongst the hardest tickets on the city, proving that England loves “The Twilight Zone” as rather a lot as “Dr. Who.”
It runs until Jan. 27 sooner than transferring to the West End in March, and New York producers and theater owners are headed to London to try it out. As one says, “ ‘The Twilight Zone’ on Broadway could clean up.”
American playwright Anne Washburn (“Mr. Burns, a Post-Electric Play”) watched all 156 “Twilight Zone” episodes sooner than settling on eight to adapt for the Almeida. She picked a couple of classics, along with “The Shelter” (episode 68, as die-hards know), a few group of associates who flip on one another whereas holed up in a bomb shelter all through a attainable nuclear assault.
“Will the Real Martian Please Stand Up?” (episode 64) could be in the mix. It’s set in a diner after a UFO landing, and the purchasers, an increasing number of paranoid, try to find out who amongst them is a Martian. There’s a third arm — and a third eye. That’s all I’m saying.
Mummies, missing kids and ventriloquists flit by the use of the play. Washburn mashes up the episodes, and some critics complain that the play is sophisticated at cases. But if you happen to understand the tales, you gained’t be in the darkish too prolonged.
The themes resonate presently: paranoia, racial rigidity, income equality. And, certain, the current opens with Marius Constant’s well-known theme tune.
John Marquez performs the narrator — Serling — with appropriately bushy eyebrows. (For New York, I nominate David Pittu, who was merely in “The Girl From the North Country” at the Public. He has bushy eyebrows, too.)
The director is Richard Jones, who staged the Tony Award-winning “Titanic” on Broadway in 1997 along with the Met’s “Hansel and Gretel.” His “Into the Woods” at the Delacorte in Central Park dissatisfied, nevertheless he did direct one amongst the most good productions I’ve ever seen: “Too Clever by Half,” at the Old Vic in London in 1988. It starred a youthful Alex Jennings, now usually often called the nasty Duke of Windsor in “The Crown.”
Jones has framed “The Twilight Zone” in a big television set. Psychedelic outcomes abound. The kind is camp, nevertheless with the occasional essential second thrown in to good affect.
All in all, it’s a recipe for pleasant. I’ll allow you to understand if — and when — Broadway enters “The Twilight Zone.”
Just a couple of Carol Channing tales to mark the dying of a legend:
Passing by the use of San Francisco on an umpteenth tour of “Hello, Dolly!,” Channing found native cabaret was holding a Carol Channing imitator contest. She entered with out telling the membership proprietor who she was. She acquired right here in third.
While spending the weekend with “Hello, Dolly!” creator Jerry Herman on Fire Island, Channing danced at the Pavilion disco, which was frequented by drag queens. “If she were an inch taller,” any individual instructed Herman, “everyone would think she was the real thing.” Herman replied, “Well, this one has had a lot of practice.”
In Indianapolis, a tour of “Dolly” shared an exhibition hall with one different event. The marquee be taught: “Carol Channing in ‘Hello, Dolly!’/Antique Show, February 21-24.”
You can hear Michael Riedel weekdays on “Len Berman and Michael Riedel in the Morning” on WOR radio 710.