- I'm catching up on 2 months of blogs, so again this one will be based off of a string of notes taken during the show. Funnily enough, I saw this the week after DANDELION, and both plays similarly allude to Shakespearian/Terentian comedy. Only this one really sucked at it. I responded negatively to this play in part due to the script, but it was mostly just a really poor production. I am not going to walk on eggshells because it was at Brooklyn College. It is no secret that the BA program there is pretty dismal. I have heard the students are disregarded while more attention is given to the BFAs, but I don't think that's the problem. This show was worse than a cliche of a community theatre's production, and I feel bad that these kids are majoring in something that they can't do a cleaner job at than amateurs. I did a BA program... but shows like this make it clear that not all BA programs are the same caliber. My program was pre-professional.... this is pre-amateur. ...yikes.
- It didn't start off terrible. I always give shows a benefit of the doubt, and I think I'm more disappointed when they fail because well... I expect them NOT to fail. So, it started fine. A live guitar and some jazzy vocals set a lovely little tone. And then some actors came onto the set and ruined it. The set was a bizarre sort of thrust on platform, and the audience sat on opposite sides. It was awkward as a set, made much more awkward by actors who were obviously uncomfortable and unsure how to use this weird space. Nobody knew where to stand and it made for strange posturing and wide and unnatural pacing around.
- The first scene featured two young male actors talking about the upcoming wedding for one of them. Um... regardless of how these two young men self-identify, they both read as clearly gay and very young, and the fact that they were talking about a heterosexual wedding seemed really forced, both in regards to heteronormativity and their age! I just didn't buy it at all, and it reinforced the idea of this as an amateur youth theatre play (and yes the audience was definitely made up of mostly parents and grandparents).
- By scene 2, I was already checked out and I have a note here that says "what the hell is the point of this?" Eventually, I realize the play might be about marriage. I wrote "what a snooze."
- I question the casting of Cristina Pitter, a woman of color, as a gypsy... kind of potentially race-biased. It looked a little weird with the sea of white leads, but maybe she was the only one who could sing.
- Some actors had no ability to project, and voices were totally lost.
- Awkward and harsh lighting changes, although that may be related to the strange Roosevelt studio space. I don't know, but it looked really terrible and high school.
- Alex Scelso (I believe that's his name, I don't have the program in front of me) turned out to be delightful and well-focused, but he smiles way too much. He needs to work on a neutral expression.
- Oh finally there was a nice silent moment in a conversation with Alex's character and Camilla... it was 40 minutes into this tedious thing.
- Anselmo's distrust of Camilla is totally misogynist and disgusting.
- Most characters (this is dramaturgical) have totally weird reasons to exit.
- Oh no... sex jokes.
- The intentional overacting in the play within the play is NOT far from the overacting in the regular play.
- What is the point of the chef??? Wow what a terrible and extended scene with a gratuitous character. Dennis (I don't know his last name, but he was in THE ALTRUISTS in the spring and is actually a natural talent) has a line here, "Jesus Christ." Yep.
- Oh no... a dance scene. Sloppy mess! Gangnam style? Yikes... really?
- The character of Doris is not having any of it during the play, and neither was I. Her line, "this is tedious!" Yep.
- Alex was surprisingly good with the CARDENIO material... except um... make-out scene? Hmm... well, he certainly just went for it. Didn't buy it though... very challenging for him, I'd imagine.
- Doris seems to hate men. The women in this play are extremely problematic.
- The entire production feels like children fighting, not married adults in conflict.
- Camilla wants to have children with Alex's character??! Jesus...
- Oh a very long and awkward hug.
- Oh here we go! So, I'm at the end of the notes here, so this must be very far into the play. I found a possible theme. The play appears to be about sexual instincts and being confused by them... a very queer theme, that. A totally ignored queer theme, that could have easily been used to the advantage of the casting. Alex and the Anselmo character are supposedly "best friends" but it reads to me as coding, really obvious coding actually. But it was just blatantly left out.
- Susanna's line, "this is horrible." Yep.
- Okay, apparently, everyone needs to run around. A lot.
- The Rudy character punctuates the running nicely, though, when he slowly ambles across the set. I'll give that moment a nod.
- After the running, everyone starts jumping on chairs and benches. Unfortunately, that's not the same as dynamism. No.
- Rudy in drag. Puts on a high cartoony voice to be a "lady." Saw that one coming a mile away.
- Rudy loses his accent in the CARDENIO scenes.
- Doris's line, "this is completely disgusting." Yep.
- They kick Doris out at the end, a Malvolio moment... hmm. Ok.
- I wrote and circled "nice finale." *shrug* I don't recall that, but I guess it was a nice finale, or maybe I was just so glad it was over.
"I've lied about a lot of things" - Dandy
"We cannot change the thing we are" - Josser
"speak of nothing" (the idea of nought, nothingness, and lack as woman) - Josser
"debauchery and deviance" - Abbess
"web of lies" - Dandy
"Fate is a bitch who turns us on her wheel" - Crispin
"Fate has stymied my life everywhere" - Dandy
"God has a plan for all our lives" - Joan
"mine eye is keen; I do see more than most" - Dandy