Legiters tread Edinburgh's boards
EDINBURGH — New York legit creatives will feature prominently in the Edinburgh Intl. Festival this August with a three-week program that will include the Wooster Group, Meredith Monk, the Philip Glass Ensemble, Patti Smith and the Brooklyn-based musicians of Bang on a Can All-Stars.
There’ll also be a visit by the L.A. Dance Project led by choreographer Benjamin Millepied and a look back at the video art of the late Nam June Paik, who settled in Gotham in the mid-1960s.
The theme of art and technology links much of the work. EIF helmer Jonathan Mills, whose 2012 program took £2.83 million ($4.33 million) at the box office, said the fest this year focuses on the ways artists have been influenced by innovations ranging from the harpsichord to the television. The theme encompasses an exhibition of medical drawings by Leonardo da Vinci and a staging of “Fidelio” directed by Seattle video artist Gary Hill, who sets the Beethoven opera on a spaceship.
In the theater program, the Wooster Group is bringing Elizabeth LeCompte’s production of “Hamlet” starring Scott Shepherd and seen at the Public Theater in 2007. From Dublin, the Gate Theater and Pan Pan Theater are staging four plays that Samuel Beckett wrote for television or radio. Alongside “All That Fall,” “Eh Joe,” “Embers” and “First Love,” there’s also Barry McGovern in “I’ll Go On,” drawn from three Beckett novels and seen at the Mitzi E Newhouse Theater in Lincoln Center in 1988.
Other productions on the lineup include the preem of “Leaving Planet Earth,” a site-specific sci-fi tale by Scotland’s Grid Iron; a one-man “Metamorphosis” by Taiwan’s Contemporary Legend Theater; “Histoire d’amour,” a film-theater crossover by Chile’s Teatro Cinema; Monk’s 2012 environmental music-theater piece “On Behalf of Nature”; and a production of “The Tragedy of Coriolanus” by Beijing People’s Art Theater, featuring two heavy metal bands.
The contemporary music strand includes “The Poet Speaks,” in which Patti Smith and Philip Glass pay homage to Allen Ginsberg; “La Belle et la Bete” in which the Philip Glass Ensemble accompanies Jean Cocteau’s 1946 movie; and a concert by Cologne’s Musicfabrik celebrating the music of Frank Zappa.
The Edinburgh Intl. Festival runs Aug. 9-Sept. 1.