The Elephant Vanishes vanishes

From the London production of The Elephant Vanishes; Guardian photographThe stage adaptation of Murakami’s short story collection, The Elephant Vanishes, ended its run last week. Mr. Maud and I very nearly took his brother, J., to see it. Instead, on the strength of Terry Teachout’s recent, glowing review, we saw Charlie Victor Romeo, which is based on transcripts of flight data recordings of the minutes preceding six airplane crashes. It’s excellent but harrowing and was perhaps not the best choice given that J. was due to fly to Europe the following day. (He didn’t seem concerned, but I kept wringing my hands and assuring him every two minutes throughout the show, “I’m sure your flight will be fine.”)

Had Terry’s review of The Elephant Vanishes appeared in time, we would have seen that. In last Friday’s Wall Street Journal, he called it “one of the most bewitchingly poetic things I’ve been lucky enough to see on a stage,” saying that the director turned the stories “into a fine-grained multi-media fantasy about the loneliness and mystery of postmodern Japanese urban life.”

Although the brief New York run is over, the show travels next to London (9/2 – 9/25), then to Paris (10/1 – 10/9) and Ann Arbor, Michigan (10/20 – 10/23). Terry says, “Go if you can, and if you can’t, beg Lincoln Center, the Brooklyn Academy of Music or pretty much anybody else in America to book it into a medium-sized house for at least a month.” Maccers was also impressed. (Scroll to the 7/26 entry.)


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