As part of its new French Play Series, the Cultural Services of the French Embassy is pleased to present Jean Genet’s controversial play Splendid‘s. The piece is directed by Arthur Nauzyciel and features actors Ismail Ibn Conner, Jared Craig, Xavier Gallais, Rudy Mungaray, Daniel Pettrow, Timothy Sekk, Neil Patrick Stewart, James Waterston, and the voice of Jeanne Moreau. The evening will begin with a screening of A Song of Love*, a short film that Genet made in 1950, followed by the performance of Splendid‘s and a concluding reception.

Director Arthur Nauzyciel has frequently been invited to work in the United States with American actors and designers over the past decade. He first directed Bernard-Marie Koltès’ Black Battles With Dogs (7stages, 2001), and Roberto Zucco (Emory Theater, 2004) in Atlanta, and has gone on to work on numerous other projects throughout the country.

In the iteration presented here, Splendid’s walks the line between staged reading and outright performance. It is a format specially conceived for this show and space; a particular performance of an already distinctive play.

Splendid’s takes place on the seventh floor of the eponymous hotel — a setting not unlike the majestic Payne Whitney Mansion — where seven murderous gangsters try to forestall their impending arrest and destruction. Genet’s piece drips with the macabre sensuality of 1940s Film Noir; melodrama, realism and black humor are blended together in this precarious dance of death.

In English. Free and open to the public with RSVP to aurore.dorlet@diplomatie.gouv.fr

*This film is intended for mature audiences, as it includes some explicit material.