“Effective… evoking the sensual urgency”

“To emphasize the cheerlessness of these lives, Ellis has set Picnic in the heart of the Great Depression, a decade or so earlier than the original, altering some of the timely references along the way. He’s also eliminated the intermissions, and that does help move things along. The staging is quite reminiscent of his effective work on the similarly themed 110 in the Shade production for the New York City Opera. And there, too, he teamed with choreographer Susan Stroman in evoking the sensual urgency festering below the surface of ordinary people living small, crabbed lives in the middle of nowhere.”