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International City Theatre streams a virtual presentation of ‘Art,’ Yasmina Reza’s Tony Award®-winning play about the meaning of art and bonds of friendship.
International City Theatre opens its 36th season with a virtual presentation of Art, a heady, hilarious look at the bonds of friendship viewed through the prism of modern art.
Yasmina Reza’s multiple award-winning play, translated from the French by playwright/screenwriter Christopher Hampton, begins streaming on Thursday, Feb. 18 and will remain available on demand every Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday through March 7 (dark Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays). Tickets are $30 per household and are available for purchase now at www.InternationalCityTheatre.org.
How much would you pay for a painting that was a white canvas? Would it be “art”? What would your friends think of it — and of you, for buying it?
When Serge purchases an all-white painting for €200,000, his longtime friendship with Marc and Yvan is put to the test. As the arguments quickly go from theoretical to personal to confrontational and friendship hangs in the balance, the question becomes: how much is a painting worth?
“It’s a masterpiece, I think,” said Hampton in an interview. “[Yasmina’s] plays are deceptively simple… But actually, when you’ve sat through them, you feel they’ve given you an insight into all kinds of things, like friendship, and marriage, and children. She is extremely wise, but she is also quite tough, so that she’s not going to let those characters off the hook. She is very interested in people behaving badly, which is always a source of great entertainment to an audience… I love to hear the sound of audiences laughing.”
In addition to winning two Molière Awards (France's most prestigious drama prize) and Broadway’s Tony Award® for best new play, Art also enjoyed a six-year run in London, where it received a Laurence Olivier award for comedy. Reza was surprised by the category for this award, noting, “I thought I had written a tragedy.”
It’s precisely this seeming paradox that highlights the plays universal appeal. Theater scholars and critics, nearly unanimous in their praise, continue to analyze and debate what Art is really about — the meaning or value of art, a rejection of modernism, the nature of friendship, the politics of aesthetics, or the creative process itself. And while there are certainly laughs galore, underneath the characters’ wit and self deprecation are basic human yearnings for meaning and connection.
Yasmina Reza is a French playwright, novelist and actress best known for her satiric plays that speak to contemporary middle-class anxieties. International City Theatre previously produced her savagely caustic “comedy of bad manners” God of Carnage to critical acclaim, with the Orange County Register effusing, “‘God of Carnage’ shows manners, and reason, as road-kill … director caryn desai's staging stings because it hits so close to home about human nature.”
For more information or to purchase tickets, go to InternationalCityTheatre.org.
Presenter / Producer: International City Theatre
Theater > Drama
Theater > Theatrical Comedy
Event Phone: 562-436-4610
International City Theatre Online
330 East Seaside Way
Long Beach CA 90802
Long Beach & South Bay
Performance Dates: 2/18/2021 - 3/7/2021
$30 per household. Private viewing code will be emailed following ticket purchase.
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