Ensconced in his soundproofed apartment, an unnamed musician discusses the paramount relationship in his life. Drinking and shouting — no one can hear him, but he shouts anyway — he discusses the love of his life, and how much he loathes it. His partner is his instrument, the magnificent double bass. It's an integral part of the orchestra's sound, its steady pulse is the taproot of the music, but no one cares. He denounces his bass as more of an obstacle than an instrument, a huge wooden albatross around his neck that he'll never escape — they're permanently linked. Did he choose to play the bass, or did the bass choose him? It doesn't matter. They're together for all time, always alone with each other. Patrick Süskind's The Double Bass
is dark look into the dissonant mind of someone who makes the most beautiful music — when he's not ranting about the unfair hierarchy of the world. Upstream Theater presents Michael Hofmann's translation of The Double Bass
at 8 p.m. Thursday through Saturday (January 29 through February 7) at the Kranzberg Arts Center (501 North Grand Boulevard; 314-863-4999 or www.upstreamtheater.org
). Sunday performances are at 7 p.m. on January 31 and 3 p.m. February 7. The play moves to 305 South Skinker Boulevard for the final weekend; performances are at 8 p.m. Thursday through Saturday and 3 p.m. Sunday (February 11 through 14). Tickets are $15 to $25. If you are an upright bass player, bring a photo of you with your instrument and you get in for free; Upstream will retain all photos.
Thursdays-Sundays. Starts: Jan. 29. Continues through Feb. 7, 2010