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Thread: Equus, anyone?

  1. #1

    Default Equus, anyone?

    So, I'm not sure how much discussion it can encourage, but I thought it was mighty time to share the splendid experience I had this weekend.

    Several months ago, my mother purchased me the most awesomely outstanding gift for a birthday anyone could ask for. She had gone online and had gotten hotel reservations in New York, along with two tickets -- one for me and one for her (of course!) to the Broadhurst Theatre production of Equus on Broadway. We were both extremely excited to see the show. We're both pretty avid Broadway-nuts, and it was even better to get a chance to see actors like Daniel Radcliffe (The actor who plays the titular character in the Harry Potter films), Richard Griffith (Uncle Vernon in the same movies), and Kate Mulgrew (Captain Janeway off of Star Trek: Voyager). Needless to say, not only were we going to get a treat of high-production stage brilliance, but we were going to get to see several great stars perform!

    I don't want to ruin the plot of the play, but Equus is the story of a psychiatrist (Griffiths) trying to rehabilitate a young man (Radcliffe) who has an unexplained fetish for horses. Prior to the play, Radcliffe's character has been found guilty of stabbing out the eyes of six horses with a horseshoe-pick, and it is the psychiatrist's job to bring him back to social normalcy. Throughout the course of the play, many things are discovered between the two characters as the backstory is revealed, and the psychiatrist begins to question whether or not there's any rehabilitating that actually needs to be done.

    The show is a considerably primal survey of various things: religion, sexuality, fetishism, social acceptance, and so on. It's rather dark material, but how it was pulled off made me realize that even the most dark, brutal, and wretched subjects can be expressed with doubtless beauty and preservation.

    While Richard Griffiths fit his role amazingly, it was Daniel Radcliffe who I was ultimately blown away by. He manages perfectly to bring to life a role that is peppered with visceral sensations, misguided instincts, and even homosexual innuendo. I was even more amazed by his control as an actor, to have no qualms with performing naked (yes, naked), simulating various sexual acts (in an extremely tasteful manner), and to do so with such unwavering composure. His character is heart-breaking yet darkly lovable -- you step out of the theater realizing that, while Alan Strang is a perverted young man, there is something to love in him, and that he represents specific taboo desires that all humans can relate to.

    Have any of you had a chance to see this show, or are you familiar with any of it? It's chock-full of self-reflexive dialogue and monologues that cut extremely deep. It's heavy, but uplifting (while simultaneously tragic), and runs a massive gamut of emotions that I can't even begin to recall.

    Awesome, awesome stuff. That's all I have to say about that!

  2. #2

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    I've never seen it...And I'm not that interested in Broadway...But I do know what you're talking about, since I've read about it on the news...He is like naked with the horse or something and there is some huge controversy about it

  3. #3

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    Haven't seen the play, but I did see about half of the movie years back and I thought it was pretty brilliant all by itself. This serves to remind me to add it to my Netflix queue so I can watch it properly. I keep meaning to do so, but I only seem to think of it when I'm not at the computer.

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mooey Goodness View Post
    I've never seen it...And I'm not that interested in Broadway...But I do know what you're talking about, since I've read about it on the news...He is like naked with the horse or something and there is some huge controversy about it
    What's funny is that, while the concept seems controversial ... the actual topic of the play is not nearly as controversial as its promotion suggests. While the character of Alan Strang seems to have this fetish for horses, you discover a lot more about the character that reveals that his fascination is not sexual at all, but almost spiritual and religious.

    I expected the play to be distasteful, and I prepared myself for that. I found myself amazingly surprised, though, because it was not in the slightest bit.

  5. #5
    FullMetal

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    That Potter boy is getting really good looking I would not mind seeing that...

    Anyway, I love Broadway and it looks really interesting. I think that you would like it. I have skimmed through some of the reviews and it seems like a great show, maybe I will see it sometime this winter as well.

    FullMetal

  6. #6

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    There is one scene that I would do anything to see. You're so lucky, Rance!

    On a more serious note, it sounds Amazing, and I wish I'd have the pleasure of viewing it.

  7. #7
    EmeraldsAndLime

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    Sounds like an amazing production to witness. Although, I'm not too fond of live stage shows that aren't comedic in some form and don't deliver strong dialogue and monologues. Black/Dark/Alternative or just generally dry-humoured shows are what I like best. That's how I have fun when watching them, not the shows with a serious overtone.

    Nevertheless, I'm sure seeing a Broadway production in itself was a blast!

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lukie View Post
    Sounds like an amazing production to witness. Although, I'm not too fond of live stage shows that aren't comedic in some form and don't deliver strong dialogue and monologues. Black/Dark/Alternative or just generally dry-humoured shows are what I like best. That's how I have fun when watching them, not the shows with a serious overtone.

    Nevertheless, I'm sure seeing a Broadway production in itself was a blast!
    Interestingly enough, Lukie, the monologues were one of the best parts of the show. They had a lot to say, and a lot to symbolize. The dialogue was immensely strong, written and performed in that machine-gun British conversational tone.

    And there were quite a few humorous parts, too! The audience certainly had some room to chuckle a few times!

  9. #9

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    Glad you had such a great time, Rance! I, too, was in New York Saturday night. I thought about Equus, but decided to see August: Osage County, a new play by Tracy Letts, instead. Terrific stuff. Did you do anything else in the city?

  10. #10

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    Mingus,

    We went to the Paley Center (it's this huge archive of radio and television) and had dinner at Frankie and Johnnie's. I've heard that August: Osage County is really, really good -- I hope that you too got a chance to enjoy yourself! There are a few other shows I'll hopefully be getting a chance to see soon, and I think I might even give in and check out Lion King.

    Were you up there to see a show, or for other reasons?

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