William Faulkner Enters the Collapsable Hole Garage in Chuck.Chuck.Chuck.


Samuel Beckett once wrote: “I don’t like gloom to lighten, there is something shady about it.” He wouldn’t be disappointed with Chuck.Chuck.Chuck., Immediate Medium’s multimedia adaptation of Faulkner’s As I Lay Dying, in which the bumpkinly Bundrens haul their deceased matriarch to Jefferson, Mississippi, for burial. Like Faulkner’s prose, Chuck.Chuck.Chuck. is cold, murky, relentless, and occasionally thrilling. The production doesn’t quite manage to enact the maze of crossed subjectivities that the novel is famous for, but J.J. Lind, deftly directing, arranges the next best thing, staging the palpable disconnect between the family members, who grieve (or fail to) on completely different planes. The gaps between them serve as a kind of psychic space in an otherwise claustrophobic performance, whose moving center of gravity, the coffined body, sucks all the characters into its decay. Unusual dance numbers, set to live folk music, add emotional punch. Their choreographer, Liz Vacco, also steals the show as Vardaman Bundren, the young son whose neurotic stammering becomes the centerpiece of the play’s meditation on death.