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Armed with only the wit of David Adjimi’s boisterous, instinctive text, Marin Ireland is a self-willed Marie who comes out swinging as the Butterfly Queen, uncontrollably flapping her opalescent wings against the gilded cage of Versailles. Before the Colonists threw tea into Boston Harbor in revolt against the British, before the French populace stormed the Bastille, Marie was battling for personal liberty.
Adjimi’s play succeeds because he understood politics was just a preposterous fashion show to Marie. Two years into her reign, what policy changes does the queen implement? She casts off her whalebone corsets and raises doorways and carriage rooftops to make room for her lofty wig towers.
Marie Antoinette by David Adjmi, directed by Rebecca Taichman. Through November 24 at Soho Rep, 46 Walker Street, New York, NY 10013. (212) 941-8632, sohorep.org/marie-antoinette (Photo © Pavel Antonov)
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