AMAZON BEAMING is a book by author Petru Popescu, recounting photographer Loren McIntyre‘s adventure with the Amazon Cat People of the remote Javari Valley in Brazil.  Simon McBurney takes this story, adds a plot about his family life and created THE ENCOUNTER.  If this sounds like the theatrical equivalent of the telephone game, you are correct.  Everything is a little bigger, a little broader and less detailed in this stagey radio play that amounts to a lot of sound and fury signifying very little indeed.  The gimmick is that the audience members each have a headset to wear and listen to technology that approximates 3D sound.  It seems fairly ironic to me that a story grounded in relinquishing your technology for a more human, basic existence is performed using the most sophisticated, expensive sound equipment ever devised.

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photo by Joan Marcus

I think that HEISENBERG is best enjoyed without any knowledge of the plot, so I will only tell you that this is an emotionally satisfying two-handed that is sophisticated and passionate without ever being cliché. Well, maybe a little more needs to be said.  Mary-Louise Parker is back in top form as an impetuous lost soul and Denis Arndt is wonderful as a man who thinks his best days are behind him.  You might be glad to hear that there is no discussion of physicist Heisenberg or his principle of uncertainty, except in the broadest terms that all human interaction is uncertain. What is certain is that this production, insightfully written by THE CURIOUS INCIDENT OF THE DOG IN THE NIGHT TIME‘s Simon Stephens, is beautifully acted, and tenderly directed by Mark Brokaw.

What a welcome start to this season to have entertainment that is adult and unique!

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Cirque Du Soleil’s PARAMOUR, playing at the Lyric Theatre on Broadway, is strictly for people who adore Acrobatics.  The plot is comparable to writing as a stick figure is to drawing, the music is instantly forgettable and the performances make wood seem affecting.  I would love to tell you who designed the gorgeous Sets and which Acrobats were amazing, but the only free program available is by way of a website and I had no cell phone coverage. Suffice it to say, this is the first time in decades that I have seen a Broadway show get a sitting ovation. 

Why anyone would open a competing circus show in the New York area at the same time as their Broadway Musical is beyond me, but I hear that Cirque Du Soleil’s Steampunk KURIOS, CABINET OF CURIOSITIES, now playing at Randall’s Island park, is a better option.

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