A little bit of theatrical surrealism can go a very long way. That maxim holds true for “The Wedding Dress,” the 1943 play by Brazilian writer Nelson Rodrigues now generating dreamlike atmospherics at Spooky Action Theater. A milestone work in the history of the Brazilian stage, “The Wedding Dress” fragments and shuffles place and time, objectivity and subjectivity, as it teases out its mystery-psychodrama plotlines. At its best, at least in this production, it suggests “Gaslight” as directed by Luis Buñuel, with a little bit of “ER” and “The Front Page” thrown in for good measure. But as one non-linear conflict or riddle follows another, stretching the production out toward the 90-minute mark, the style becomes a little trying.
However, the show is a treat for the eye, thanks to director Rebecca Holderness, working with a creative team that includes set designer Vicki Davis and lighting designer Maja White. In previous Spooky Action offerings such as “Einstein’s Dreams” and “Kafka on the Shore,” Holderness brought out richness in three-dimensional space. She does the same on the set of “The Wedding Dress,” whose deep recesses, littered with odd images, such as mannequin limbs and a spiky sculpture, vaguely suggest an abandoned museum. In this staging, she also makes canny use of color, turning the production into an eerie fantasia in white and red.