The Trial of Dali

Michael Van Duzer Reviews - Theater

LA playwright Andy Kolo’s THE TRIAL OF DALI is being performed in the Fringe by Drama Theatre Fantazja, an Australian/Polish company. The play starts promisingly when a child dressed as the artist plays “Summertime” on the violin while a shirtless Salvador Dali (James Domeyko) dresses upstage of the violinist. Unfortunately, this and the lobster telephone, are the only coherent images in the production.

Kolo’s script opens with an over-long introduction to Dali and his wife Gala (Jola Scewczyk) living hand to mouth in New York. They are visited by a Bullfighter, Marilyn Monroe, and Andy Warhol. As neither Warhol nor Monroe was famous or in New York at the time, one assumes that these are intended as surreal commentary. But Joanna Borkowska-Surucic’s direction remains disappointingly pedantic and earthbound. There is no evidence of the sly, biting humor of the Dali/Bunuel films.

Dali and Gala return to Spain where he is put on trial by a vindictive ex-lover. These scenes strive for a satiric tone, but the frequently inaudible performers are more soporific than anarchic. Domeyko is tall and lanky with the supple grace of a silent comedian. It might be interesting to see him in a better production.

If you’re in the mood for a dramatic dose of Dali, I’d suggest renting L’Age d’Or.    June 14 -19, 2019