There’s an almost childlike thrill one feels watching the early moments of Gatz, the six-hour re-enactment of The Great Gatsby that opened last night at Redcat and which runs through December 9. It comes from listening to an ensemble of committed actors perform every word of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s 1925 novel as though we were being read a fairy tale by our parents. In a way, Fitzgerald’s story about a mysterious man (or is he an ogre?) who lives in a Long Island castle and who pines for a young woman in marital distress is a modern fairy tale. It’s also a Jazz Age fable about soul-destroying materialism, class snobbery and feelings of racial entitlement – which means it also has something for everyone in 21st-century America.
This visiting production, staged by New York’s Elevator Repair Service theater company, has been around in its present form for six years.