Marathon Drama Redux: 'Gatz' and 'Angels in America'
Theatrical marathons, those all-day affairs adored by festival-trotting Europeans, are quietly staging a comeback in New York. Nothing as momentous as Peter Brook’s production of “The Mahabharata” or the Royal Shakespeare Company’s “Nicholas Nickleby” has landed. But “Gatz” and “Angels in America,” which combine for a total of roughly 15 hours, are unquestionably two of the hottest events of the fall season.
One would think rear ends would be rising up in revolt. But a metropolitan lust for camping out has taken hold off-Broadway, where both these works are persuading audience members to turn off their smartphones for extended periods and surrender to fictional worlds whose scope and intelligence can’t be gobbled in fast-food gulps.
Broadway, by comparison, is stocked with trivial playthings, diversions quickly consumed and promptly forgotten at prices that encourage amnesia. Elevator Repair Service’s “Gatz” and Signature Theatre Company’s new production of “Angels” have their shortcomings, but...
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-- Charles McNulty
Photo: Jim Fletcher, Gary Wilmes, Vin Knight, Kate Scelsa, Victoria Vazquez and Scott Shepherd are shown in a scene from "Gatz," at the Public Theater in New York. Credit: AP Photo / Public Theater, Joan Marcus.