Sunshine is an overrated virtue," a young Samuel Beckett darkly quips in Lookingglass Theatre's Dreaming Lucia, a fictionalized account of the life of James Joyce's daughter. Beckett much preferred the gloom of a closed room, the better to enjoy to the fullest his daily dark night of the soul. Company, one of his last prose works, is set in such a dark room, where the unnamed protagonist awaits death while an odd voice--not unlike the one that bedevils the poor hero of Beckett's Eh Jo--reminds him of various minor events from his life. Like a lot of Beckett's later works, this Spartan, cruelly witty piece re-creates with perfect simplicity the crazy circular thinking of the obsessive ruminator. Again and again our hero, on his back in the dark, is reminded "You are on your back in the dark." And director Lane Savadove, adapting Company for his San Francisco-based theater troupe EgoPo, takes Beckett at his word: in this production Savadove blindfolds his audience and leaves them literally on their backs in the dark while his cast wander around the performance area, speaking Beckett's words loudly or whispering them softly into individual ears as they brush, poke, prod, and caress audience members. This interactive theater event guarantees that the audience won't just watch from a safe distance while Beckett's dark, dry, godless world unfolds onstage. Splinter Group Studio, 1937 W. Division, 509-2993. Opens Wednesday, March 15, 7 and 9 PM. Through March 19: Thursday-Sunday, 7 and 9 PM. $15.
Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): Photo/Xenon Lubinsky.