Stage Review

The Stendhal Syndrome (2004 - 2004)

EW's GRADE
B+

Details Opening Date: Feb 16, 2004; Lead Performance: Isabella Rossellini; Director: Terrence McNally

In his first new play since 1998's religious fable Corpus Christi, Terrence McNally offers a meditation on art and opera: ''Full Frontal Nudity'' visits Florence, where a tour guide (a charming Isabella Rossellini) interprets Michelangelo's David for three awestruck Americans; ''Prelude & Liebestod'' probes the psyche of a sex-crazed conductor (ex-Walton Richard Thomas, in a bravura turn). McNally loves big issues and larger-than-life characters: Think of his flaws-and-all Maria Callas (Master Class); his matter-of-fact depiction of AIDS in Love! Valour! Compassion! That he humanizes such lofty subjects continues to surprise and delight. (212-279-4200)

Originally posted Mar 12, 2004 Published in issue #755 Mar 12, 2004 Order article reprints