One on one with Moby Dick

Carlos Adinolfi as Ahab in Moby Dick. Photo by Ralph Stewart
The tormented Ahab loses his soul as well as his mind chasing Moby Dick. Photos by Ralph Stewart

By Anna Marie D'Addarie - August 3, 2006

Performer Carlo Adinolfi single-handedly captured Moby Dick in a triumphant show at the Yard in Chilmark last Thursday. Part of Wow! A Whale of a Week, "The Whale" was written by Mr. Adinolfi and Renee Philippi and produced by the Concrete Temple Theatre from New York City.

If you were among the fortunate to have seen one of the two Island performances last weekend, you are probably still haunted and thrilled by the images. Mr. Adinolfi used every part of his body and practically every inch of the Yard stage to tell the story of Moby Dick. What seemed like hundreds of characters came vividly to life before an awe-struck audience.

Carlos Adinolfi as Ahab in Moby Dick. Photo by Ralph Stewart
Whaler (Carlos Adinolfi) heads out after his prey. The audience could feel the waves and the ocean spray.

Mr. Adinolfi used an array of objects that became extensions of his body, organic and very much alive. To call these objects props would be like calling the MOMA that place with the pictures. And as if he were not talented enough, Mr. Adinolfi constructed the objects himself. A skeleton boat materialized, like the stringing of a bow, from what looked like a flat pile of sticks. When inverted and covered with white, silky fabric, the boat became the infamous whale.

The production showed a tremendous attention to detail, a symptom of the company's dedication to their craft. Mr. Adinolfi's seamless transitions from one character to another, as well as his ability to create an atmosphere using everything in his power, gave the audience an unforgettable performance. Should "The Whale" come this way again, lower the boats and haul away and make sure you catch it.