"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.")
"Gatz," a staged homage to "The Great Gatsby," runs for seven hours. Is great theatre worth the time commitment?