During the last half of the second act, when Ehn and Faulkner decide to close the saga through her bloodshot gaze, Boutte's interpretation of Faulkner's converted text raised goosebumps on my arms. She plays Dilsey less as a noble sufferer than a wily observer, a woman whose lowly position in life affords her the modest pleasure of knowing her employers better than they know themselves. In this sense it bookended nicely with Bruce DuBose's Benjy-framed opener, whose eloquent expression of the mentally retarded brother's sensual world didn't hit me until I'd had time to process the play.
All that keeps me from jumping up and down with excitement about this play is that pesky lag time. My first viewing was a rocky affair--while I figured out one plot thread, valuable information about another one was missed. The program for this show contains an essay by William Faulkner that touches on the relationships among the major characters, but it wasn't enough to facilitate my appreciation of Ehn's raucous, regal version. Short of reading the novel beforehand, I'd pop in at your local bookstore and skim the synopsis at the beginning of the Cliffs Notes. Then you'll know what The Sound and the Fury signifies.
The Sound and the Fury runs through June 7. Call 747-5515.