Dorian A Rock Musical ★★★ Ruby in the Dust Theatre (online) | Jul 16 - Aug 12, 2021


Oscar Wilde was a consummate playwright but he wrote The Picture of Dorian Gray as a novel, and adaptations of this particular piece to the stage have generally not worked well. In this present instance, there is an uneasy blending of time within this musical. Sometimes we seem to be in the Edwardian period and then we are uncomfortably updated to a world reflecting behaviours and attitudes more akin to those of the present day. References to "bathtub gin" and the musical Cabaret are simply jarring. Similarly, the language slides discordantly from Wilde's highly constructed aphorisms to current colloquialisms. The artificiality of Wilde's melodrama and studied wit are hot-house plants that seem able to exist successfully only in a sui generis environment and that has not been created here. Some of the musical numbers such as "Can You Hear Me?" stand alone as good pieces but the question of whether Wilde's novel can be effectively translated to a musical form remains moot. Bart Lambert successfully captures Dorian's descent into decadence and John Addison is suitably sly as Lord Henry. The cast works hard, but the show is too long and some sequences could easily be cut. The curious interlude of Lady Windermere's fan dance seems to add nothing to the plot's development. This seems like a work in progress which has not yet met the challenge of translating Wilde's classic into a new genre.

Rated: ★★★

Reviewed by J.C.
Photo by Stream.Theatre

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When, Where, Getting there:
Jul 16 - 21: 7:30 pm
Jul 22 - Aug 12: Available on demand
Ruby in the Dust Theatre

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