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September 28, 2010


Gatz: Seven Hours of The Great Gatsby

Posted by on Sep 28, 2010

You did not misread that title.  Elevator Repair Service, an NYC-based theater company, is bringing its 7+ hour adaptation/staged reading of The Great Gatsby to the Big Apple after having toured with the production around the world.  In Gatz, an office worker finds a beat-up copy of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s masterpiece, and begins to read it out loud – and he DOES NOT STOP.  As he continues to read, his colleagues begin to act out the scenes of the novel around him.

If you’re brave enough to find out more about this mammoth production, hit the jump.

Now, the idea of not just reading The Great Gatsby in its entirety, but charging admission to the event, may seem absolutely insane.  And, well, that’s partly because it is.  But here’s the thing: this show has received fantastic reviews around the world.  Also, the production includes two 15 minute intermissions and an hour-long dinner break.  So while Gatsby may be one of the greatest novels of all time, the people at ERS are not expecting you to defy the laws of physics and the urges of your bladder through sheer force of literature-appreciating will.  That said, this is not just a reading.  As the play proceeds, the character reading the text slowly takes on the persona of Nick Carroway.  The drama of the office is not merely an adaptation of the text but a parallel narrative.

To be clear, I have not yet seen this production.  But I can assure you that I will, and a review will be posted immediately afterward.  Here’s the painful part: tickets for the current run of the show at The Public Theater cost $140.  Luckily, there are $40 rush tickets and $50 student tickets, but if you’re not a student or willing to wait in line a long time , you’ll have to shell out some serious dough to see this performance.  The show is running from September 26 to November 28.

As a final enticement, Scott Shepherd, the actor reading the text, actually memorized the entire novel.  HOW CRAZY AWESOME IS THAT?!

  • Anonymous

    OOOOOOOHHHHHH want to go

  • Anonymous

    i want to go too! but more importantly, make chris go!!! get that boy some education!

    • Third

      Oh no. Don’t tell me the former Brit hasn’t read the Great Gatsby, either. Chris, how are you friends with any of us? How have you survived in this country for so long?

      • I like to maintain a certain level of elitism. Also, daily injections of the Queen’s own black tea help keep me alive in this torrid locale.

        Nah, really I just missed the grades where people read Gatsby