NYU Skirball Brochure (Spring 2018)
War & Peace is back in town. With its immersive salon staging, its playful interaction between performers and audience members, and its free-flowing vodka and blinis. Indeed, there is still an abundance of music, there are wildly audacious costumes, and there is a very large cast of characters. But unlike Dave Malloy’s Great Comet over Broadway, Gob Squad’s War & Peace does not attempt to adapt a slice of Leo Tolstoy’s 1200-plus-page classic for the stage. No: they have taken on the whole epic book, copies of which are strewn about the theatre – with one shiny copy propped up on a pedestal. And yet Gob Squad is not all that interested in retelling Tolstoy’s story; they are not much interested in narrative at all. Instead, they have chosen to playfully refract some of the books central themes, ideas, and questions through our present moment: both our political realities and our contemporary aesthetic modes.