Monday, August 16, 2004

too bad 

about a month ago i mentioned that i'd be seeing The Cherry Orchard at WTF... well, i'm sad to say that this production now holds the title of the worst production i've seen at the Festival (and i saw Death Takes a Holiday back in 1990, so it's not like i haven't suffered in that theatre before). I suspect the direction is mainly to blame -- tho the actors have to be held at least somewhat accountable, the acting was uniformly stilted and awkward. this could not have happened by chance -- Michael Greif had to have been pushing them all in a similar direction. and whether it was due to his vision or their enactment of his vision, it just ended up awful.

but, the theatre experience was not all bad. From reading the program, i realized that i had actually seen Lee Wilkoff before -- in Marat/Sade and A Funny Thing Happened On the Way to the Forum (which means i actually saw him four times; by the 3rd performance of Forum i remember Kathi & i were silently mimicing the choreography in the back of the theatre). i've now also discovered that i saw Calista Flockhart (in the aforementioned Death Takes a Holiday) back before she was Ally. And I had a classic "It's That Guy" moment -- during intermission i caught sight of Zeljko Ivanek in the audience. I'll admit, i was only vaguely certain what i'd seen him in before (i was correctly guessing West Wing; turns out he was also in 24 and the remake of The Manchurian Candidate), but i was amused to find his picture in the program for the 2001 production of The Dumb Waiter & The Zoo Story.

ETA: Ben Brantley of the NYTimes begs to differ with my evaluation of The Cherry Orchard. Apparently I should have realized that this is "a thoroughly disarming production". Maybe he was the guy two rows back who was [inexplicably, to our thinking] cheering wildly at the end.


Post a Comment

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

Site Feed