The Overcoat

Thursday, September 29th, 2005 | Friends, Performance

BC and I just got back from ACT’s production of The Overcoat, a wordless play based on a short story by Gogol, with music by Shostakovich. BC’s tonsils are the size of bowling balls. Their clanging kept me up all night last night, so I sent him up the hill with an aspirin and a hug goodnight. The play was great. All of the action was conveyed through body movement, delightfully and cleverly wed to the music almost like a ballet. I wouldn’t call it experimental theater, as it was, well, completely accessible, and told in the manner of an old silent film–but without title cards. or film. The story was very simple, about a clerk who takes abuse from everyone because of his shabby coat, spends all of his money on a gorgeous new overcoat, is instantly respected, and then he celebrates too enthusiastically, hops on the wrong trolley to the other side of town, and gets rolled, his coat stolen. He end up in a psychiatric ward, the lights fading to black as they wrap him in his brand new straight jacket.

Isn’t it just like that?

Big Chris’s tonsils are seriously frightening. I screamed when I first saw them. I think he’s a little nervous about having them removed. After his dad and uncles were rounded up and taken to the hospital to have their tonsils removed, they woke up with sore throats and no more foreskins. Everyone thinks that there must be some connection to his Dad’s ultimate decision to have the rest taken off and his named changed to Stephanie. I just want to sleep.

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