Thursday, October 09, 2008

Theatrical RANTS and RAVES

Here's my review of a few recent things caught on Broadway. Xanadu is gone. Rent is gone. [Title of Show] is going to be gone. October 12th it closes, and trust's even gayer than a Madonna concert.

[Title of Show] is a self-referential play about two guys putting on a show about two guys. It's so much better than a show about a movie about a show, which is the rest of Broadway right now. If you're a theatre trivia fan, this show is something you've waited for all your life. And if you're not a theatre trivia fan, still go. I laughed the entire way through, and you know what? I was inspired. Inspiration can be hard to come by. See it...while you can.

Since I was inspired, let me ask: Who out there is a composer, and wants to develop a show with me?

Next up:

The other day I found a pill in the house, and asked Bam what it was. He didn't know. Was it an upper, or a downer? I popped it into my mouth hoping it was an upper. It wasn't. I was thrust into this loopy sort of un-reality, and ended up puking and going to bed at 3pm.

When we went to see August: Osage County, the pulitzer prize winning ensemble drama that's three hours long, which is the reason it took me so long to see it. "Three hours! Three hours!" but like everyone said, it rushed right by. The viper, Violet Weston, is a mood-swinging, pill-popping matriarch, and when she begins to babble incoherently after too many pills at the end of the first act, Bam turns to me and says, "It's you!"

Violet Weston is now being played by Estelle Parsons, who I last saw as that whiny, freaked-out member of the gang in Bonnie & Clyde. She won an Oscar for it in 1967, and she's 81 years old next month. As Violet Weston, she knocks the role out of the park. It defies all reason. At the end, after three long acts of rushing around for three hours, eight shows a week, this 80 year old woman races up two flights of stairs to the top of the house. And she does it faster than I could.

Next up:

How many friends told me I'd need binoculars to spot Harry Potter's wand? Hey, it's cold in the theatre. And he's got a mass of pubes, and big balls. And he does a great job. Besides, I'm way more into the simple smoky staging, and the horses played by six sexy men wearing high heeled hooves.

But can I say one thing that is so not p.c., and is not mentioned in any single review? This is not nice, but it has to be said because it takes away from the strength of the piece. The character on stage the entire time, Richard Griffiths, who plays the psychologist, is so upstaged by his own imposing, obtrusive world-record holding Fat Upper Pubic Area that who can concentrate?

Equus has some great things to say about what religion can do, but it gets too plodded down with psycho-babble ("Do you like to mount horses?") and incessant yammering by the over bloated psychologist and she his friend? Superior? Co-worker?...Capt'n Janeway (Kate Mulgrew, once again showing off her indecipherable Hepburn-ish accent: it's not Connecticut, it's not Brighton & Hove, where is it from?) who is written into the script only to allow him to talk about his past, and say that unlike Daniel Radcliffe's character, he has no passion; that he's never worshipped anything in his life. Which is a case of bad casting, because this man has been worshipping cheese doodles and arm-chairs his entire life. No wonder Harry's uncut cheese doodle looks small. Next to that?

Not to harp, but last year I had to ingest the sight of this actor's FUPA for the entire length of the History Boys, another show on Broadway, where he played a lecherous teacher who molests his students, and the irredeemable play thought it all fine and dandy. Same idea with Carousel. The main character in the musical Carousel beats his wife and by the end of the play we're to understand he only did it out of love. Vomitrocious, both History Boys and Carousel.

But what's my opinion?

Richard Griffiths won a TONY for History Boys. I believe he ate it.

1 comment:

Mark in DE said...

The way you describe History Boys and Carousel is the way I felt about The Color Purple. I feel manipulated when a character is horrible all his life, yet is somehow redeemed in his twilight years. Only Jesus (if he exists) is capable of that kind of redemption, IMHO.

Mark :-)