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Pasolini's original story, which he made into a film in 1968 with Terence Stamp, Anne Wiazemsky, and Silvana Mangano, follows a mysterious stranger who visits an upper-class family and seduces everyone in the household in turn--mother, father, daughter, son, and maid--opening up a world of repressed desires and emotions. After he leaves, as suddenly and enigmatically as he came, a crisis ensues. No one is able to fill the sudden and gaping void left by his absence, and each turns to increasingly aberrant forms of behavior--all except the maid, who returns to her village and begins performing miracles. For this spectacular production, staged in an industrial warehouse on Governors Island, Ivo van Hove--known for his unremitting works of theatrical stagecraft--and the Toneelgroep Amsterdam theater group create an unnervingly powerful adaptation, within Jan Versveyweld's cold, spare set (echoing Pasolini's desert motif), that includes a scarily effective score, with music by Beethoven, Webern, and Eric Sleichim, performed live by the Bl!ndman [new strings].

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