Like the day after too many shots of vodka, Swan Song + Confessions balances reflection, regret, and humor. As part of its Viva! and Gala Around Town Series, the Cleveland Museum of Art gathers a pair of satirical one-act plays by Anton Pavlovich Chekhov and Nikolai Gogol and presents them in a bite-sized package for contemporary audiences. We cant be too serious or too heavy, says director Massoud Saidpour. Enlightenment has to be engaging.
Local actors Dorothy and Reuben Silver take on the lead roles in the double feature, which injects smart subtext and individualist attitude into the hoary classics. Chekhovs Swan Song is about memory or its loss, says Saidpour. And its about coming to terms with our own existence. Its this beautiful tension between comedy and tragedy. Confessions updates Gogols 19th-century Diaries of a Madman by placing the story of a government workers mental meltdown into a modern 9-to-5 office setting. The madman is just a catalyst to the madness around him, says Saidpour. Its about the powerful and the powerless.
Thursdays-Sundays, 7:30 p.m. Starts: Jan. 5. Continues through Jan. 22