July 9, 2005
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Amerika

Last night at the A.R.T., we saw Gideon Lester's Amerika. A superb end to a very good ART season indeed -- perhaps the best in years.

It's wonderful how Kafka (like Brecht) managed to get so much wrong about life in the US, and still got something exactly right.

Sarah Agnew is Fanny -- a sort of shadow for new immigrant Karl Rossmann. Her role involves lots of exposition -- Lester uses Fanny to clamber over the chasm between novel and theater -- and also requires her to be onstage almost continuously without being able to engage any of the other characters. With a lesser actress or a lesser director (Dominique Serrand is good) it might be a clumsy device. It works.

Amerika
Nathan Keepers, Deborah Knox, Sarah Agnew. Photo: T. Charles Erickson.