Currado Malaspina's thoroughly idiosyncratic rendering of Oedipus Rex at the Austruche Theater was a disaster.
To call the production "unorthodox" would only invite an empty analysis of orthodoxy. So peculiar and disjunctive a work has not been seen in Paris since Utmaoux directed Phaedre at the Chochotte. With elaborately baroque sets designed by the Los Angeles based artist Dahlia Danton and inflatable rubber costumes engineered by Capote-Rhone SA the work is visually unfriendly though not altogether displeasing. Imagine Fragonard with helium balloons in a Vegas wedding chapel during a skirmish of Gog and Magog.
The problem lies in the fact that the Paris of Sarkozy is not the Paris of Alfred Jarry. Next door to the Autruche Theater where Malaspina's work was staged is the fast-food restaurant Lolos, the Parisian equivalent to Hooter's. Directly across the street is the Disney owned Auchan hypermarket and down the block is a Trader Joe's. Malaspina's Oedipe Roi played to near empty houses while just a few blocks south at the Louie Braille Theater on rue Chapon, the musical EuroSpongeBob enjoyed nightly sell-outs.
Il n'ya pas de justice.