Saw Amadeus in Durham on Friday night. Ends Saturday April 12. See it if you can.
Oh, you want more than that?
Walk in to a dark room where an aged Salieri in a brocade robe randomly and jerkily cruises the room in an electric wheelchair. He's Bowie white and bald: with the wheelchair he looks like an unnerving cross between Uncle Fester Addams and Dr. Strangelove. He's muttering imprecations punctuated by snarling curses like Jim Jones of the Peoples' Temple of Jonestown Guyana.
Two people are seated, poised. They're dressed in period costume but with hairstyles and raccoon-band facepaint reminiscent of Priss in Blader Runner or To Live and Die in L.A..
There's a thing in the back that looks like a circus tent in the back, chest-high on a standing person, but it moves occasionally.
The overall effect is decadent creepy romantigoth, the Nine Inch Nails video for The Perfect Drug. I crave absinthe just watching the preshow.
Salieri begins confessing his sins, beginning with gluttony, then moves to his early life and how he became a famous composer, shifting and youthening to his prime years as he moves into the story.
One character has a face mask with goggles and harsh planes of the face that look spider-like. Another has an elaborate wig with angle-wedge tufts to each side suggesting ears and a fur torso, a werewolf courtier.
The Emperor is like a fatuous and pompous Bill Murray in stag horns hugely wide, about 5' across. (Shades of Hannibal's Dire Ravenstag.)
A chilling ending.
Not a weak performance in the cast, anywhere. Almost zero set, but the costumes and performances mean you simply don't notice. Strong uneasy sound design.
Last time I was in this venue was a year ago for the Marowitz Hamlet.