Leslie Weisman has graciously sent along this report on the Paris production of Richard France�s�Welles play which has captivated theatergoers across Europe, but apparently, as with most Welles projects, it has yet to find backers for a U. S. production.
��* * * * * * * * * * ��OBEDIENTLY YOURS, ORSON WELLES�In Paris�By Leslie Weisman�Earlier this month I had the great pleasure of seeing this play, written by the esteemed Welles scholar and author Richard France (Orson Welles on Shakespeare, 2001; The Theatre of Orson Welles, 1977) and adapted for the French stage by actor and writer Jacques Collard. "Obediently Yours, Orson Welles" has been translated into French, German, Dutch, Portuguese, Spanish, Polish, and Italian, and staged in as many countries. Failing a close-to-home venue, I did the next best thing, seeing it in a city that he loved and, judging by the full house and enthusiastic, sympathetic reception, one that remembers him, and returns the sentiment:�Paris. [This may be the appropriate place to note that I am a friend of Mr. France, and have worked with him. That said, what follows is my honest appraisal of seeing the play.]� Conveniently situated about a block from the Champs-Elys�es Cl�men�eau metro station, the Th��tre Marigny�s Salle Popesco, the "modern" half of the two-theater complex, seating about 300, is an ideal venue for an intimate portrayal of Welles.�The play is a marvel of economy that takes us through his life from the perspective of his last year, as his attempts to obtain financing for DON QUIJOTE from friends (in some cases, this appellation should be seen as carrying invisible quotation marks) and associates are set against a carefully structured, temporally shifting shadow play of episodes from his life and career.�Not an overly rosy portrait � no one would accuse the author of trying to whitewash Welles�it is nonetheless an intimate, affecting, and affectionate one.� The setting is a recording studio, where Welles is making the infamous radio commercials which, while essential sources of money that would allow him to make his own films, perhaps inevitably earned him the derision of the mean-spirited and the uninitiated � another reason this play should be on everyone�s play list, and not just Wellesians�.��