Dhalgren on Stage

Here's a nice birthday present:
On April 1 — [Samuel R.] Delany’s 68th birthday — the Kitchen will begin staging an adaptation [of Dhalgren] called Bellona, Destroyer of Cities. Its director and writer is Jay Scheib, an MIT professor and rising theater-world star who’s been obsessed with Dhalgren for years. He once devoted an MIT course to the book, and has even adapted it into a play in German.
That news comes from a good, basic overview of Delany and Dhalgren in New York Magazine. I thought the description of the novel as "like Gertrude Stein: Beyond Thunderdome" was pretty amusing. (It made me want to see a picture of Gertrude Stein with Tina Turner hair.)

The play is not strictly an adaptation of the novel, it seems:
The Kitchen adaptation aims to be the next cycle of Dhalgren: It begins where the novel ends, with a new character—a woman instead of a man—entering Bellona. "In the novel," Scheib says, "when the narrator shows up, he has sex with a woman who turns into a tree. And then he has sex with a guy, and then with a girl. Then another guy. Then a guy and a girl. So we try to keep that spirit alive."
Bellona, Destroyer of Cities runs April 1-10, and there will be a post-show discussion with Chip on April 3. I would love to be there, but it's not possible. If anybody attends the show, I'd love to hear what you think of it!


  1. Sounds like fun.

    I heard Delany say once that the Nevèrÿon books had been compared to Conan the Barbarian as written by Marcel Proust...

  2. So bummed I'm going to be in New York starting on the 14th and missing this show. Looking forward to living vicariously through some reviews.

  3. Dhalgren ends where it begins, so starting off at the end, as a sequel, is to begin again and tell the same story. Dhalgren is its own sequel.

  4. I am tempted to think this whole post is an April Fool's joke, except that the date does not match. So I have to accept it at face value.

  5. As Delany himself said Saturday, "It didn't seem to have much to do with the book."


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

"Stone Animals" by Kelly Link

"Loot" by Nadine Gordimer

Gardner Dozois (1947-2018)

Compulsory Genres

Writing in Crisis