The Car Man, the latest piece from Matthew Bourne's Tony and Olivier-winning dance company, Adventures in Motion Pictures, had planned to make a mini-tour of the United States and Canada with stops in Chicago, Toronto and Boston. But jumpy producers and anxious theatregoers have stalled the "Auto-Erotic Thrillers" plans. Now, after the Nov. 3 performance at the University of California, Berkeley, The Car Man will return to England.
Before coming to Berkeley, The Car Man played Los Angeles' Ahmanson Theatre (where Bourne's Tony Award-wining Swan Lake and Cinderella also played), after premiering in the United States at Minnesota's Ordway Center Aug. 22-Sept. 2.
Subtitled "an auto-erotic thriller," The Car Man moves Bizet's Spanish story to a small 1960's Midwestern town called Harmony where a blossoming love triangle proves quite disharmonious. As sexy and mysterious drifter Luca arrives and takes a job as a mechanic, he begins to seduce the populace starting with his boss' wife, Lana. Caught up in their web of betrayal and lust is Angelo, a shy young man whose involvement leads the story to its ultimate tragic conclusion.
Terry Davis and Rodion Schedrin adapted Carmen's original score. Olivier and Tony Award-winning designer Lez Brotherston created the sets with lighting by Chris Davis.
As previously reported, Matthew Bourne's new dance-meets-musical theatre work, The Car Man, will not be making its way back east following its stay in California. The presenters at Chicago's Auditorium Theatre, Toronto's Hummingbird Centre and Boston's Wang Center for the Performing Arts have all canceled their scheduled runs of the production that would have played through Dec. 9. According to a released statement, the prospective venues said, "It is with reluctance and great regret that we announce the cancellation of this spectacular show. We share in the disappointment that we know our audiences will feel because this outstanding production will not visit our cities, but we encourage people to continue their support of the arts in these difficult times."
— By Christine Ehren
and Ernio Hernandez