Monday, September 9, 2013

The Machine @ Park Avenue Armory

 The U.S. premiere of British playwright Matt Charman’s new play, The Machine, takes over Park Avenue Armory’s vast Wade Thompson Drill Hall September 4-18. The play, a co-commission of Park Avenue Armory, Donmar Warehouse, and the Manchester International Festival, depicts the headline-grabbing 1997 New York chess tournament between Grandmaster Garry Kasparov and Deep Blue, a super-computer developed by technology giant IBM. An epic battle between a human genius and a state-of-the-art machine, The Machine will be staged the Armory’s 55,000-square-foot drill hall as a sports event complete with a 4-sided arena; a giant, electronic scoreboard; and video cameras capturing and broadcasting the action on a jumbotron.  

In 1997, Garry Kasparov, the world’s greatest chess player, arrived in New York City for the biggest match of his life. His opponent wasn’t a fellow Grandmaster, but a faceless super-computer, Deep Blue, built by tech-giant IBM and masterminded by Dr. Feng-Hsiung Hsu. The man versus machine match was conceived as a publicity stunt by IBM in a bid to raise its profile and its stock price. An international celebrity and the undisputed master of his art, Kasparov came to America for freedom and glory. What he didn't expect to confront was the lifelong dedication of another young genius, Deep Blue’s wunderkind inventor Doctor Hsu. What followed was one of the most compelling stories of our time—a collision of human brilliance, foibles, greed, and artificial intelligence. Under the direction of the Donmar Warehouse Artistic Director Josie Rourke, the cast features Hadley Fraser as Garry Kasparov, Francesca Annis as Garry’s mother, Clara, and Kenneth Lee as Dr. Hsu.

The production is a truly unique experience and to have it in the Park Armory was just incredible. Set in the round, the audience sat through intense technical elements, impressive and mind bending material and impeccable acting. This production will really get you thinking!

The Machine runs at Park Avenue Armory September 18, 2013. Do not miss out of this amazing experience. 

Review By: James Russo

No comments:

Post a Comment