"Gatz," the work of singular imagination and intelligence that opened Wednesday night at the Public Theater, chronicles one reader's gradual but unconditional seduction by a single, ravishing novel. That novel happens to be perhaps the finest written by an American, "The Great Gatsby," F. Scott Fitzgerald's 1925 tale of pursuing the unattainable in the Jazz Age. And it is presented in its word-for-word entirety over the course of nearly seven hours by Elevator Repair Service, a heroic company that dares to venture into literary realms where theater artists are known to sink and drown. (Its other adaptations included Hemingway's "Sun Also Rises" and Faulkner's "Sound and the Fury.")
But I don't think I can sit for seven hours--even with intermissions. My brain is weird--even things that are pure flights of fantasy, I can't do for long. A two-hour straight session of WoW is about my limit. I was a total EQ-addict, but I was having other issues then. I generally can't write for longer than an hour straight. When I was in the woods, I could write for two hours, which was good. I could go four but, ever thirty minutes or so, I'd have to take a dance break. (Don't ask I was in the woods. Alone.)
Still, The Great Gatsby is probably my favorite novel. I may have to challenge myself. Even thinking about it is scaring me.