Last Saturday night I had the good fortune of sitting through a first staging performance of Peter Dizozza’s ‘A Question of Solitude’, a musical episode in the life of James Bond, agent in hiatus from the employ of His Majesty’s Secret Service, and also an ornithologist by training. This doesn’t stop him from living a life of danger and seduction, in this case colored with surrealistic touches that Raymond Roussel would have very much enjoyed, had he been familiar with the James Bond lexicon.
Establishing the audience on firm ground with the premise of following James as he once more tries to save the world from evil and insanity is precisely where this piece has it’s charm. By centering it’s action around a popularly familiar character in our times, it has the capability of introducing a contemporary generation to the sensibilities and playfulness that the Surrealists and Dada artist of the early 20th century where working with, playing with juxtapositions of material that seemed ordinary in their own time, and yet unrelated to each other. This is not to say that the lessons from this kind of irreverence have not already seeped themselves so deeply into our everyday culture as to seem ubiquitous. But even accounting for that, ‘A question of Solitude’ maintains a purity of intention that gives it it’s own special aura.
The title of the piece is in a line from a song called “Private Land’ from a Cinema VII production called ‘The Last Dodo’. The line is: ‘Bring into focus a question of solitude. Make it a wonderful place to go’. Cinema VII is an engine who’s mission is to provide alternate entertainment by introducing pieces for popular entertainment integrating music with dialogue. It specializes in satire using surrealism as it’s primary language vehicle.
‘A question of Solitude’ is produced by Cinema VII, in association with The Williamsburg Art and Historical Center. Adapted, interpreted and performed by Peter Dizozza, Mike Hill, Flemming Laursen, Anne-Marie Levey-Allauzen, Sam Moree, Zach Pethoud, Kat Yew & Lydia Woods. Artwork by Sam Moree, Orin Buck, Fedele Spadafora and Adia Ben Hamouda.
It’s running concurrently with with the juried Tri-Fold Book Art Exhibit, on the second floor of the WAH Center. wahcenter.net
Quoted next is a part of the mission statement of the WHA Center for Performing Arts: “... is a dynamic home for emerging writers and artists, providing a the unique opportunity for playwrights to collaborate with directors, actors, and designers throughout the development process~ from idea to fully realized production. The WAH’s supportive environment continues to nurture a close-knit group of artists working towards the common goal of creating dynamic theater, and it’s commitment to the developments of new works is integral to the cultural enrichment of New York City.”
The play is having a limited run for this, it’s first staging, at the WHA Center for the Performing Arts, 135 Broadway, Brooklyn, NY (currently the entrance of the building is on the side of the building, around the corner). There are 2 performances left, this Friday Nov. 12th, Sat Nov, 13th. For tickets and information: wahcenter.net.