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What Is the Story of Orlando?
Orlando is a fanciful tale of a young man who lives for three centuries—from Elizabethan times, when he has a romantic relationship with the aging queen, to the early 20th century, when he has morphed into a woman after a period of deep sleep. (Virginia Woolf published the novel in 1928 as an homage to her great love Vita Sackville-West.) Along the way, Orlando falls deeply in love with a Russian princess, becomes the British ambassador to Constantinople, marries a sea captain and becomes an award-winning poet.
What Is Orlando Like?
Sarah Ruhl’s adaptation of Woolf’s beloved novel is presented in “story theater” form: Three male actors morph into a variety of characters (including Queen Elizabeth I) as they narrate Orlando’s story, which allows much of the book’s rich and distinctive prose to be presented intact. Classic Stage Company’s production has a dreamlike, “once upon a time” feel, with a compelling title performance by Francesca Faridany, who sports the same androgynous haircut Tilda Swinton wore in a 1992 feature film version of the novel.
Is Orlando Good for Kids?
Although there are elements of Woolf’s allegorical story that would appeal to young audiences, the production includes full-frontal nudity and has a distinctively sophisticated feel. Leave the kids at home this time.