September 15, 2016

Worst theater director’s idea ever? Maybe bringing onstage a large, high-resolution flat-screen television, on which is projected, multiple times, the shower scene from “Psycho.” I am by no means a worshiper at the altar of Alfred Hitchcock. Nonetheless, when that television screen slid onstage in “Phaedra(s),” a stultifying gloss on the story of the legendary Greek queen with an unfortunate love life, which can be endured — oh, sorry, seen — at the Brooklyn Academy of Music through Sunday, I became instantly transfixed. Here, at least, was vivid proof of a cogent directorial mind at work. Never before had I absorbed in such detail the brilliance of Hitchcock’s shot-making in this most celebrated scene of violence.