Chicago's Polish Theater
(shown at the University of Saint Thomas in Houston, 22 January 2000; poetic text in Polish)
A four-person cast of Chicago's Polish Theater gave an adaptation of Pan Tadeusz suitable for traveling performances. While all too often the show had an unmistakable air of an operetta, the difficult task of impersonating several characters simultaneously was executed by the four actors with skill and grace. The most challenging job was that of the show's director, Ryszard Krzyzanowski, who played the Narrator, the Count, the Judge, and the Russian Captain Rykov. In our estimation, his rendition of the Count was best of all, as it introduced a touch of irony necessary to prevent the show from slipping into waters so shallow as to ground any artistic ship. Our only complaint about his performance was misquotation of the famous phrase "kraj lat dziecinnych." Instead, he said "kraj dziecinstwa:" a spot in his copybook. Another fine (and appropriately distanced) rendition was Andrzej Krukowski's Plut, a Russian Major symbolizing the style of governorship practiced by Russians in their Polish-Lithuanian colony. Too bad that the caricatures of Poles in Dostoevsky's The Brothers Karamazov are known to the entire literate world, whereas Mickiewicz's no less poignant and brilliant caricatures of Russians are only enjoyed by the Polish ethnic community.
The two actresses playing, respectively, Telimena and Zosia (Barbara Denys and Julita Mroczkowska) were rich and faultless in their feminine charms. Altogether, in spite of some roughness of the plot line, an enjoyable evening. The show was brought to Houston courtesy of the Drs. Stanislaw and Barbara Burzynski. (sb)
Back to the April 2000 issue
The Sarmatian Review
Last updated 7/15/00