Willamette Week, October 8, 2003
By Steffen Silvis
More a meditation through movement and music, Liminal’s latest performance piece allows audience members to wander through quadrants (designated both by the four elements and the four primary compass points) of the Faust story, from the doctor’s unquenchable thirst for knowledge to the consignment of his soul to damnation. The choice, however, is yours as to which part of the story to linger over. Three performers (Leslie Goodwin, Georgia Luce, Jeff Marchant), three chorus members (director Bryan Markovitz, Linda Miles, Ammon Morris) and two musicians (John Berendzen, Frank Marroquin) alchemically combine to form numerous reactions to the Faustian theme.
The chorus, ranging from John Adams-like minimalism to Gregorian chant, observes (and comments upon) the action from a small stage, while the performers swirl around a center made up of an upright piano, organ and xylophone. The piece is constructed in such a way that audience members are welcome to arrive and depart at will over a two-hour period. But for those who choose to stay for the full performance, there are rewards in watching how various elements are reinterpreted as the music, singing and movement collide in different ways. It all ends with bells, appropriately, and one is left with the feeling of having been part of an elemental experience. This is theater at its most ritualistic.