- Acting Reviews
"Is this a metaphor? I think not," says Agnes (Helen Pickett) as, with hilarious gusto, she auctions off members of Flanders Royal Ballet.
"Triumphant!" "Emotionally uncomplicated!" "Is this a metaphor...or Teutonic ritual?" Agnes (Helen Pickett), our guide for tonight, belts out profundities and absurdities at random, straddling music hall, TV and philosophy as she seizes a postmodern series of roles.
The last big production of the festival was William Forsythe's "Impressing the Czar," magnificently reconstructed for the Royal Ballet of Flanders. This three-act, four-part 1988 piece is one of Mr. Forsythe's most important large-scale works.
"Impressing the Czar" incorporates the well-known "In the Middle, Somewhat Elevated," and it surrounds that pure-dance piece with two acts of theatrical pleasure, all of it marvelously danced. The last boasts an auction (hilariously conducted by Helen Pickett).
"Helen Pickett, as the only guest brought in for Czar from the Ballett Frankfurt cast, relives her role as the evening's host/auctioneer: in the main speaking part, going right through to being one of the group members of frenetic Bongo Bongo. She has one of the most magnetic and charismatic presence's I have seen. Someone with that insane intelligence that combines an ability to improvise, appears to be totally off her rocker, but at the same time knows exactly what everyone is doing around her and where she wants to go with it. She should be given her own talk show, or at least a guest spot on Saturday Night Live."
"But contempt for our ignorance doesn't seem to be the point, just sorrow, often rendered redemptively beautiful. It's all crystallized in Helen Pickett's absorbing monologue as the Doctor's wife, who, as if writing a letter, describes in rapturous detail every aspect of the couple's new house - which we already know will be crushed with her in it."
" Helen Pickett's commanding presence did wonders for the role of their best friend, Susanah."
"The show has a lot of the right stuff, from a brilliant staging to superb acting. The women (...Helen Pickett) are especially funny and compelling."
"The dancers of Frankfurt Ballet are singers and comedians with gifts unsurpassed. The laughs are big. Helen Pickett is the indefatigable star."