WHAT: The Exorcist Play
WHEN: From July 11th to August 11th
WHERE: Geffen Playhouse @ Westwood
By Lizandro Melean
The Exorcist is one of the true classics of American horror cinema and if we don’t think alike then you should be another Twilight fan and we’re not on the same page. Every film fanatic must at least know the tale of Reagan, the girl possessed by the devil who is exorcised in the comfort of her bed full of vomit. This famous film, based on a book by William Peter Blatty, is now being treated for the stage in a stripped down version at the Geffen Playhouse of Los Angeles, that used to be a real church back in the days, around the snobish Westwood neighborhood.
CoolHunting Project was in one of the previews for the play starring Brooke Shields who plays Reagan’s mother, the girl possessed by the devil and Richard Chamberlain in the role of Father Merrin who serves this time as a narrator to the story that’s unfolding on stage. If you’re a fanatic of the movie’s FX then you shouldn’t bother because here you’ll find none, in fact the script was revised just to highlight the battle between good and evil, not only inside Reagan, but also inside many people around the world with issues such as alcoholism, drugs ans even sexual abuse.
The mise en scene is minimalistic and the only thing that’s closer to a special effect are just the lightning and some really loud sound tricks that are there to make jump out of your seat. Don’t wait for green vomit, you wont find any. Don’t ask for a teen Reagan, Emily Yetter, the actress who portrays the infamous girl, has 23 years old, although her height makes you wonder if that’s true. John Pielmier the scriptwriter and John Doyle the director aren’t taking any risks and what once was a tale of shocking physical horror is now just a psychological study that goes deeper into the chatting between The Devil and Father Damien who is portrayed by David Wilson Barnes who, at least for me, doesn’t manage to capture the greatness that Jason Miller stamped on the role on the 1973 flick.
Dogville meets Linda Blair
If you’re a fan of the movie you should see this adaptation just for the sake of curiosity. It’s definitely one of those things that you will love or hate, there’s no in between judgement. I just respected it. Sometimes perfect things should stayed untouched but a good effort must be recognized. To me this version is the bastard son of a party between Dogville, the Lars Von Trier movie, and the film version of The Exorcist. If you love a tripped down play where a table is also used as a bed and people sleep while they’re standing on a corner of the set then you’ll have 90 minutes of fun, if not this won’t be your cup of tea.
Run and click on geffenplayhouse.com to get tickets right now. They go from $75 to 85$ and they’re practically SOLD-OUT!