Thursday, March 31, 2005

How to Steal a Scene by Just Raising a Finger:
Sometimes a finger can steal a scene. Now appearing in Samuel Beckett's 'Endgame,' the 79-year-old theater veteran Alvin Epstein compels the audience with little more than some careful movement of his hands, which peek out from the tin can that his character, the ancient Nagg, inhabits for the duration of the play. Exploring the uncertain world outside the safety of the can, those digits pique our curiosity. Like characters in their own right, they scramble meekly, but with a visible, desperate energy, around the can's rim, like hungry mice, distracting the audience from all the other action taking place on stage.
Mime is considered more of a punchline than an art form these days, but to watch Mr. Epstein - who studied the craft alongside Marcel Marceau more than half a century ago - is to appreciate the lingering finesse it can lend an actor's work
(from The New York Times).

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