French novelist Stendhal (Marie-Henri Beyle) was so overwhelmed by Florence, Italy, that he reported: "I felt a pulsating in my heart. Life was draining out of me, while I walked, fearing a fall. A reaction to a tainted spinach-and-egg dish? Mais non! Stendhals near-swoon had to do with Florentine art. Terrence McNallys diptych The Stendhal Syndrome, courtesy of Artists Theatre Project, examines the power of art to buckle the knees.
McNallys two takes: American tourists versus Michelangelos David in the cheekily titled Full Frontal Nudity and, in Prelude and Liebstod, a conductor face-to-face with his failed life as he wields the baton during a performance of Wagners Tristan and Isolde. McNally, protégé of Edward Albee and winner of four Tony Awards, serves up smart art with arch wit on the side.
The show at 8 p.m. September 13 is a pay-what-you-can preview.