an aging prima donna wrestles with her elusive existential essence

Opening Night (from John Cassavetes’ movie)

Director = Ivo van Hove.

Trailer here: Toneelgroep Amsterdam en NTGent spelen Opening Night van John Cassavetes. Regie Ivo van Hove.

The soundtrack contains Neil Young’s songs.


“Mr. van Hove applies his demolition devices to not one but two fourth walls in the course of this rambunctious evening, since he has not one but two separate audiences to consider

(the play is an) extended exploration of an aging prima donna’s wrestling match with her elusive existential essence

Hove”s subject is the porousness of the identities of those who act in and live by the theater.

Cassavetes, who died in 1989, urged his cast members to burrow deep into themselves and return with the soiled contents from the corners of their psychic closets

We are often left unsure whether what we’re seeing is of the play or outside it, whether the actors are playing to the mini-audience that has been assembled onstage or the larger one beyond it.

Our disorientation is compounded by the plethora of simultaneous versions of the same scene: those that occur in the flesh on the stage; those reflected in the glass doors at the back of the soundstage-like set; and those that are projected in video onto an assortment of screens large and small.

the emotional turmoil, even at its most exaggerated, always feels real and disturbingly familiar




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