Vincent: Van Gogh's Story as Told Through His Letters
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The last date listed for Vincent was Sunday May 28, 2006 / 6:00pm.
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Reviews & Ratings
Quotes & Highlights
“Stylish and Haunting” L.A. Times
“Lovett undergoes lightning bolt transformations to deliver two exceptional performances.” L.A. Weekly
“A brave, blazoning testament to Vincent’s spirit. Deeply moving” -Backstage West
“Sam Lovett offers a remarkable performance. It’s almost as if there were two people on stage carrying on a ping-pong game of personalities. Under the tight direction of Cynthia Parks… Sensitive, gripping and fascinating." -Reviewplays.com
“Strokes of Genius. Impeccably told and exquisitely acted” -Malibu Times
“Lovett…. a very special performer…looks so much like Vincent that his confessions and ruminations seem to be coming from the authentic source.” -KABC Radio
“Truly remarkable. Parks’ seamless direction is masterful” -KSCN Radio
“Tight, well crafted. Enchanting and engaging” -American Radio Network
Written by Leonard Nimoy.
Based upon the play “Van Gogh” by Phillip Stevens.
Directed by Cynthia Parks.
Executive producers: David & Lori Preiss.
Performed by Sam Lovett.
The life of Vincent Van Gogh (1853-1890), the Post-Impressionist Dutch painter, is itself such a fascinating narrative that it is the stuff of legend, novel, and film. Tortured by inner demons (some called it madness), crushing poverty, the inability to sell his work, a frustrated love life, Vincent was nonetheless capable of a remarkable output, with some 800 paintings and 800 drawings. He also left behind some 500 letters to his loving and devoted brother Theo, detailing Vincent’s struggle for his art.
“Vincent” the play concerns itself with Van Gogh’s final fourteen years, during which he spends time first as a minister of the Gospel, selecting impoverished miners as a principal congregation. He segues from religion to art as an avenue to serve humanity. Along the way, he suffers romantic frustrations, obsessively pursing an unresponsive cousin, then taking up with an abusive prostitute, then patronizing brothels after falling in with a bad character indeed, artist Paul Gauguin. Throughout, Vincent receives financial support from Theo, a merchant and art dealer, whose brotherly love never wavers. After a term in an asylum, Vincent paints 70 canvases in 70 days before his life hurtles to a violent conclusion.
The story of “Vincent” is related from Theo’s perspective. Theo is portrayed by Sam Lovett, who also plays Vincent in this play written for one actor. He is directed by Cynthia Parks, who has often directed him over a period of fourteen years. Both hail from Santa Cruz, where they were founding members of Central Coast Theatre Works. Their work together includes “Laughing Wild,” “Love and Peace, Mary Jo,” “Bent,” “Oleanna,” and “Angels in America.”
On his own, Lovett directed “Six Degrees of Separation” and “Lilies,” and appeared in “Black Comedy,” “Beau Jest,” “Brigadoon,” “The Foreigner,” and more.
The two collaborated on “Vincent” in 1999 at the Court Theatre, when the work of Van Gogh received a major exhibition at the nearby Los Angeles County Museum of Art. The play received wonderful reviews at the time. The Court, alas, is gone, but Vincent’s art remains, and you’ll see some reproductions of it in the course of the new production of the play at the Globe Playhouse.
It’s been seven years since Lovett and Parks mounted “Vincent” in L.A., a long-enough absence for viewers to be able to take an entirely fresh look at the work, and for audiences entirely new to the play an opportunity to seize the gem that they missed the last time around.
You don’t have to wait another seven years to see this play. See it while you can.