Play Without Words


Call it a narrative ballet, a lyricless musical, or something as mundane as its title, but director-choreographer Matthew Bourne’s all-dancing, no-singing adaptation of the 1963 film The Servant provides thrills almost beyond verbiage. That vintage Brit pic, about a valet who comes to dominate his master amid much cross-coupling and sexual politicking, was a fairly horrific distillation of class warfare. Bourne’s jazz-based refitting manages to be giddy, graceful, hilarious, honestly erotic, and a lot more fun, before it finally circles back to the source material’s essential creepiness. As for Bourne basing all this hoofing on a Harold Pinter screenplay, what’s next — The Dumb Waiter: The Musical Pantomime? God, let’s hope so. (213-628-2772) A

Play Without Words
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