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Off-Off-Broadway Review

Dante's Divina Comedia – Inferno

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Dante's Divina Comedia – Inferno
Undeniably a work of profound visual beauty, René Migliaccio's surreal adaptation of Dante's "Inferno" might prove inscrutable for English-speaking audiences. Performed acutely in Dante's native Italian by Alessio Bordoni, this production features English "intertitles"—that is, a brief summary preceding each section—an important distinction to those unversed in the particulars of the poet's descent into the underworld.

Bordoni portrays Dante the pilgrim behind a translucent scrim onto which is projected symbolic collage art created by India Evans. Some pieces, like a close-up image of an upside-down skull, are nicely disorienting, while the climatic image of Lucifer feels bungled. Between Bordoni's wailing disbelief, Aminda Asher's haunting cello playing, and Evan's abstract imagery, "Divina Comedia" flirts with aesthetic perfection but thwarts complete immersion with the shroud of language. By foregoing subtitles, Migliaccio forces non-Italian-speaking audiences to confront the texture of Dante's Hell rather than the text.

Presented by Black Moon Theatre Company and Green Room Presents as part of the New York International Fringe Festival
at Here Arts Center, 145 Sixth Ave., NYC.
Aug. 1425. Remaining performances: Thu., Aug. 20, 9:15 p.m.; Sun., Aug. 23, 1:15 p.m.; Tue., Aug. 25, 9:15 pm.
(866) 468-7619 or www.fringenyc.org.

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