Happy 2013, playgoers!
Maybe this pairing is a reach…Jacobean revenge tragedy vs. Sigmund Freud and C.S. Lewis debating love, sex, death and the existence of God.
Still, Cheek by Jowl’s production of John Ford’s “Tis Pity She’s a Whore” and the West Coast premiere of Mark St. Germain’s “Freud’s Last Session” are taking place at roughly the same time and on Westside University campuses less than 10 miles apart. While there a couple of last events, the two shows will pretty much wrap up the theater programming for UCLA’s Center for Arts in Performance (CAP) and at the Broad Stage for the 2012-13 school year.
Oh, and Herr Freud, were he alive today, would most definitely have some bon mots about “Tis Pity.”
Politics, revenge, brothers and sisters hotly in love with each other, all with a modern dress, semi contemporary spin as only Declan Donnellan and his British company Cheek by Jowl can spin it. Outside of England, Jacobean revenge tragedies don’t come ‘round much (eyes and mouth removed, heart on a spit, anyone?). Cheek by Jowl came to UCLA before, back when it was UCLA Live, with a production of “Othello” and the company has toured England and internationally. “’Tis Pity,” a co-production with Barbican, London, Les Gémeaux/Sceaux/ Scène Nationale and Sydney Festival, brings its love, lust, gore and angst into the Freud for five performances Jan. 9-12. I find it rather amusing that on consecutive nights you could see “‘Tis Pity She’s a Whore” and Cathy Rigby in her umpteenth turn as “Peter Pan.”
But I digress.
The Broad offers Judd Hirsch (“Taxi,” “Conversations with my Father”) as the famed shrink and Tom Cavanagh (“Ed,” “Providence”) as Lewis in the popular “Freud’s Last Session.” as Narnia creator Lewis. This is a “What if they met” scenario taking place weeks before Freud’s death as the onset of World War II is in the offing.
This one’s not so much a hit-and-run: it plays Jan. 11-February 2 which means Tuesday and Wednesday performances and ticket prices topping the $100 mark for premiere packages. Really, it's kinda too bad that "Freud's Last Session" isn't playing at UCLA's Freud Playhouse (although, yes, that venue is pronounced "Frood") Hint: my old pals at Goldstar have seats for half off both for “Freud’s Last Session” and for “’Tis Pity…” although far more for the latter.)
Or you can go right to the source: http://cap.ucla.edu/calendar/event_detail.asp?id=243 for “‘Tis Pity She’s a Whore” and http://thebroadstage.com/Freud for “Freud’s Last Session.”