Subsequent Performances

Jonathan Miller, Author Viking Books $25 (0p) ISBN 978-0-670-81234-9
Theater and opera director, physician, TV host of The Body in Question, Miller here ruminates on the process of staging classics in the theater. Focusing on his own productions of Shakespeare, Chekhov and Mozart, he examines the resonances that a play or opera presents to later generations of theatergoersthe period of its ""afterlife''and defends the controversial directorial approach that transposes Shakespeare to other periods. The author's explications of sometimes unorthodox stagings never seem arbitrary and are often brilliantly incisive. His erudition is impressiveto buttress his interpretations he draws on history, anthropology, psychoanalytic theory and art history (the 90 illustrations, color and black-and-white, include reproductions of paintings cited in the text, as well as photos from plays). Miller's advocacy for the virtues of live theater is passionate; indeed, he too easily dismisses film and TV as expressive media. Despite the number of illustrations, the book's oversize format is inappropriate: it imposes a coffee-table quality on a text that has much to say, as well as show, about the director's art. (October)
Reviewed on: 09/29/1986
Release date: 10/01/1986
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