June 2, 2015

Genius or crackpot? Your opinion of Gertrude Stein, in case you hadn’t already formed a firm one, may zigzag between those poles, ultimately landing somewhere in between, as you listen to David Greenspan‘s fascinating new exploration of this singular writer’s work. “Composition … Master-Pieces … Identity,” presented by Target Margin Theater at the Connelly Theater, consists of three pieces of Stein’s writings — two lectures and a poem — read or performed by Mr. Greenspan, who also conceived the show. The production, part of the company’s season of seven Stein-related works, puts her great whorls of words front and center. Mr. Greenspan, neatly dressed in button-down shirt and slim pants, sits in a chair to deliver the first piece — remarkably, from memory; adds a table for the second, which he reads; and finally gives a dramatized interpretation of the poem. (This is not Mr. Greenspan’s first foray into the dizzying thickets of Stein’s language: He previously performed her lecture “Plays.”)