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Second Review of "Beast On The Moon" in Italy
November 28, 2017
Richard's play Beast on the Moon has received scores of positive critiques since its first production years ago. The Italian production run of this show has been no different, as he has received additional praise from reviewer Nino Dolfo. He had this to say, after receiving an English translation:
Is there reprieve from horrors that persist in survivors’ memory? BEAST ON THE MOON, the latest production of CTB with TeatroDue of Parma of a drama of Richard Kalinoski, makes us reflect on the endurance of pain in time, when an indescribable sorrow, borne of the barbarity of extermination, is lodged in the soul like an anchor.
The Armenian holocaust, a forgotten and/or neglected page of history, is re-lived by the first generation of refugees in America. The setting is Milwaukee, at the beginning of the 1920s. Aram has married Seta by proxy; both are migrants and orphans who escaped the genocide. Theirs is a story of love from a difficult chemistry, as they negotiate the line between patriarchal tradition and reversion to ancestral norms (the exchange on the rights and duties of the wife, based on Biblical verse, is delightful), conflicts and silences, precisely because the weight of the past drowns their present.
Aram ardently desires a family and offspring to rebuild an identity stolen from him by the abomination and above all seeks to reestablish an order in daily life, to re-launch his destiny. Seta is a child-wife who finds herself sterile, and nevertheless possesses an unstoppable energy for the future. It will be she, unbeknownst to her husband, to adopt Vincenzo, an Italian street urchin. Also an orphan, Vincenzo will ultimately allow the couple to extract themselves from the shifting sands of their auto-destructive memory.
Kalinoski’s is a powerful text. He knows how to lighten the pathos and sculpt words in their ordinary exchange. Chiodi’s production harnesses them inside an almost bare scenic boxwhile pointing to the extraordinary value of photography as a witness to history (Aram is a photographer by profession, as was the German photographer, Armin Wegner, the first to document the [Armenian] extermination) that re-opens not only the unforgettable tragedy but also eternal instants of beauty, because in the end, as Ivo Andric would say, the imperfection of life prevails over the senselessness of death. Elisabetta Pozzi, Fulvio Pepe, Alberto Mancioppi and Luigi Bignone are the perfect cast. For the first of these, the public applauded a long time. [Emotionally] moved.