“A masterstroke…a dangerous, vast and virtuoso production that confronts its time and context with chilling force, showing, in the director’s own words, ‘a celebration of evil’.
—The Guardian (UK)
“A serious triumph…[a] grandiose and chilling spectacle…a unique combination of epic theater and drama, and between theater and cinema”
—Le Monde (France)
Tony Award-winning director Ivo van Hove unleashes his visionary creativity at the Armory with the prestigious Comédie-Française, which for more than three centuries has boldly faced the perils of the stage, for the North American premiere of his adaptation of Luchino Visconti’s desperately dark drama The Damned. The historic walls of the Wade Thompson Drill Hall form the backdrop for this remarkable production, which employs cameramen prowling amongst the actors to catch close ups of key moments that are projected on massive screens amongst the minimalist set to create scenography that borders on installation art.
Using the screenplay rather than Visconti’s film as a starting point, van Hove traces the disintegration of the wealthy Essenbeck family and their steel dynasty during the seizure of power of the Nazis in 1933 in Germany, reflecting the ideological debauchery of a society ready to make the most venomous alliances for the benefit of its sole economic interests. This sharply drawn familial chronicle combines intrigue and ambition with betrayal and murder in the insidious struggle for power, and the corruption of relationships echoes the cruelty and brutality of the political context—themes that have the makings of a great modern tragedy.
Watch a trailer from the production’s original run at the 2016 Festival d’Avignon.
A Comédie Française Production Presented in Collaboration with Park Avenue Armory
Based on Luchino Visconti, Nicola Badalucco, and Enrico Medioli’s Work
Ivo van Hove, Director
Jan Versweyveld, Scenography and Lighting Designer
An D’Huys, Costume Designer
Tal Yarden, Video Designer
Eric Sleichim, Original Sound Designer and Sound Concept
Bart van den Eynde, Dramaturgy
The Damned is supported in part by the Cultural Services of the French Embassy.
Image: Jan Versweyveld / coll.Comédie-Française
Monday–Thursday at 7:30pm
Friday–Saturday at 8:00pm
There is an in-person standby line for full price tickets for sold-out performances one hour prior to performance start time.
Wade Thompson Drill Hall
Running time is approximately 2 hours and 10 minutes with no intermission. Performed in French with English supertitles. This production contains scenes that may be inappropriate for young audiences.
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Tickets can be purchased by calling the Box Office at (212) 933-5812 Monday–Friday, 10:00 AM–6:00 PM. The Box Office is open for walk-up sales only on days of performances and during the open hours of visual art installations. On performance days, Will Call opens one hour prior to the performance.
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