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GATZ OFF-BROADWAY REVIEWS
Opening Night: September 26, 2010
THE FASTER TIMES
Synopsis: One morning in the office of a mysterious small business, an employee finds a copy of The Great Gatsby in the clutter of his desk. He starts to read it out loud, and doesn't stop. At first his coworkers hardly notice. But after a series of strange coincidences, it's no longer clear whether he's reading the book or the book is transforming him. Gatz is a theatrical and literary tour de force, not a retelling of the Gatsby story but an enactment of the novel itself. Over the course of a single 6 1/2 hour production, Fitzgerald's American masterpiece is delivered word for word, startlingly brought to life by a low-rent office staff in the midst of their inscrutable business operations.
NEW YORK TIMES REVIEW:
"The most compelling love affair being conducted on a New York stage this season isn’t between a man and woman. (Or a man and a man, a woman and a woman or a boy and a horse.) It is between a man and a book. "
"Rarely has waiting around for a computer to reboot created such good theater.
That's how the insanely inventive "Gatz" at The Public Theatre begins: With a regular guy in a tie coming into work, sitting at a desk in an empty, shabby office and finding his screen uncooperative."
"In my younger and less vulnerable years, before I had been assigned “The Great Gatsby” in three different courses, I would have welcomed the idea of watching someone on stage spending six and a half hours reading aloud F. Scott Fitzgerald’s novel – all 47,000 or so words — as we’re promised at the outset of the play “Gatz,” which has now opened at the Public Theater. "
"At times, "Gatz" casts such a strong spell that it feels as if the world outside the Public Theater has ceased to exist.
And then there are the deadly boring stretches. Very long ones, considering the play lasts eight hours, including two intermissions and a 75-minute dinner break."
"The culture’s currently crawling with Gatsbyesque figures, from the silicon ciphers of The Social Network to the “self-made” congressional candidates of the tea party. But anyone seeking this generation’s true second coming of the late, great James Gatz should take a trip to the Public Theater and see Gatz, a complete, six-hour-plus recitation/re-creation of The Great Gatsby, American literature’s enduring touchstone, as well as its fetishized golden calf. Gatz’s architects, the rightly revered downtown theater collective Elevator Repair Service, treat it like scripture, reading it end to end. That they do so with lusty irony takes nothing away from the holiness of their literary mission — in fact, it enhances it, exfoliating great gaudy barnacles of accumulated Gatsby kitsch, and forcing a reassessment of our deepest beliefs about ourselves, our culture, our most treasured illusions, literary and otherwise."
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