The Theater: Labyrinthine Dream

The Life and Times of Joseph Stalin

by Robert Wilson

James Joyce once said that he expected his readers to devote their entire lives to his work. Texas-born, 29-year-old Robert Wilson seems to concur. For four performances only at Brooklyn's Academy of Music, he assembled a twelve-hour dramatic extravaganza that began at 7 p.m. and ended at 7 a.m. It was a long day's night.

Stalin scants Stalin as well as conventional play making. It is a kind of lavish underwater ballet, a labyrinthine dream from which one cannot awaken, a slow-motion time study that...

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