Tandem Expositions & Rubin Fogel Productions/Lasting Impressions: The Magic of the Impressionists in 3D, by the Princeton Entertainment Group (founding partner Ed Kasses), directed by Dylan Pearce, CAA Theatre, Aug. 10 to Oct 8. Tickets here.
If you love art, or are craving something different, Lasting Impressions: The Magic of the Impressionists in 3D is the show for you. It is a cornucopia of beloved 19th century paintings — 160 of them, in fact, by 17 of the greatest French impressionist artists.
The immersive experience is the new kid on the entertainment block. The companion word is digital. In other words, using technology, the intent of these 21st century creators is to enfold and embrace an audience in their thrall. With each new digital experience, however, these pioneers have to come up with something new.
The innovation behind the immersive show, Lasting Impressions: The Magic of the Impressionists in 3D, is, and I quote “state-of-the-art cutting-edge 3D motion sculpting technology and holographics”. Wearing 3D glasses, the audience not only sees the scene as the artist saw it, we literally can step into it.
When looking at a painting, the image is flat, the two dimensions being length and width. In 3D, the front, middle and rear images are isolated, one from the other. We see what inspired the artist to paint it, and can travel through the work to experience details as never before.
Take Monet’s Water Lilies. In two dimension, we see the lilies, the pond, and the reflection of the surrounding landscape in the water. What I saw for the first time in Lasting Impressions was what lay beneath the shimmering surface of the pond. It was a revelation.
The CAA Theatre is usually a not very attractive black box. For Lasting Impressions, the venue has been transformed into a Parisian café, where you can order drinks and food. On banked tiers, tables and chairs have been arranged in cabaret style, adorned with pretty café lamps. The images of the paintings are projected onto a huge 3D LED screen. Some clever animation in the paintings includes trees waving and water rippling.
The program is in two parts. The first is like an art lecture, with a voiceover by Sophie Renoir, the great granddaughter of the famous painter. We see old movies and photographs of Paris and environs, and then the impressionist paintings that were inspired by these images, including biographic details of some of the artists. After the intermission, the audience dons the 3D glasses and the adventure begins.
I’m embarrassed to admit that there were many paintings I did not know, yet I’ve always thought I was quite knowledgeable about the impressionists — for example, Degas landscapes. As well, there were two women artists — Marie Bracquemond and Eva Gonzales — I didn’t know at all. Thus the presentation is interesting because it also includes some rarer works from the period.
Mention should also be made of the very effective sound score. Along with the French classical composers like Ravel and Debussy, we also get Edith Piaf and Charles Aznavour, not to mention Cole Porter’s I love Paris performed by Ella Fitzgerald. A list of the painters and the music is thoughtfully provided on every table.
In short, Lasting Impressions: The Magic of the Impressionists in 3D, leaves a lasting impression.
Get the daily arts news straight to your inbox.
Sign up for the Ludwig van Daily — classical music and opera in five minutes or less HERE.
- SCRUTINY | Withrow Park Is A Play In Search Of A Centre - December 1, 2023
- SCRUTINY | Jani Lauzon’s Prophecy Fog Is An Utterly Beautiful Performance Of Ceremony & Storytelling - November 29, 2023
- SCRUTINY | Mirvish’s To Kill A Mockingbird Is A Nearly Flawless Production - November 27, 2023