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The Best Half-day Ticket Of The Season

from The New York Times

A 12-Hour Play, and Endless Bragging Rights

Every theater season has its must-must-must-see show, the snob hit that separates the true sophisticates (at least in their own minds) from the cultural chaff. New York will have a doozy of a contender this July: a 12-hour production of a grim Dostoyevsky novel that will be performed only twice, in Italian (with English supertitles), in a warehouse on Governors Island, reachable only after a ferry trip and a 20-minute walk.

Andrea Boccalini - Ivan Alovisio, left, one of the actors in “The Demons,” directed by Peter Stein, right.Golf carts will be available for patrons who want to avoid the hike; otherwise, comfort-food theater this is not.

Nor will the show, “The Demons,” be an easy ticket, setting the stage for I-was-there bragging rights that a certain brand of New Yorker finds irresistible.

Among those who quickly bought tickets on Wednesday was David Coats, a member of the Friends of Lincoln Center. He’s a theater director in Saratoga Springs, N.Y., who is a fan of the Dostoyevsky novel and of the production’s director, the German auteur Peter Stein, and an even bigger fan of what he called theater as an adventure. Mr. Coats said on Thursday that he relished the idea of trekking out to Governors Island and testing his stamina with the marathon performance (which will be broken up by meal and bathroom breaks).

In Mr. Coats’s view “The Demons” will be a relief from the onslaught of films, music and television shows that clutter American culture. “This will be like going on an adventurous foreign trip without needing a passport,” said Mr. Coats, who will attend with his wife, Alma Becker, a guest artist at Skidmore College. “We’ve been to Berlin and just missed a Stein production there. We were in Moscow and just missed Stein there. Our colleagues and other theater people have spoken so highly of Stein, so we want in on the conversation.”

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Posted on March 13, 2010 by Editor

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