Critic's Pick: High Noon

You can drop kick any cinematic nostalgia of Gary Cooper, Grace Kelly, and assorted bad guys back to 1952. Axis Theatre’s adaptation of Hollywood’s quintessential Old West showdown has been given a new, lushly surreal life with a company that paints the material and their characters with strokes of conflictboth internal and verbal.

High Noon

Photos: Pavel Antonov

The intimacy of this High Noon is as palpable as the storyline as it snakes its way through a wedding, a telegram, the hours ticking down, and the anticipated arrival of a noon train carrying one hell of a vengeful passenger. The town itself is filled with people, each one busy digging his or her own grave of detachment. All except the marshal, who registers as the most detached of all. Even the marshal’s Quaker bride has a simmering backstory.

In this town without pity or spine, the barkeep serves liquor as soon as the sun comes up, bullets are dropped and roll across the floor, a rosary and a fan appear and disappear like magic, neighbors, lovers, and business partners are interchangeable and the color scheme is film noir. The feelingat least for mewas also vintage celluloid;  French New Wave, to be precise.

High Noon

This haunting theatre piecea simmering 75 minutes, no intermissionis a true ensemble performance with every actor connected and showcased. It is also in its limited run homestretch, so your window to catch it at 1 Sheridan Square is small.  But I recommend you make the effort.

About the Author

City Guide Theatre Editor Griffin Miller moved to New York to pursue an acting/writing career in the 1980s after graduating magna cum laude from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio. Since then, she has written for The New York Times, For the Bride, Hotels, and a number of other publications, mostly in the areas of travel and performance arts. An active member of The New York Travel Writers Association, she is also a playwright and award-winning collage artist. In addition, she sits on the board of The Lewis Carroll Society of North America. Griffin is married to Richard Sandomir, a reporter for The New York Times.

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