Sunday, November 08, 2009

Dramatic Opportunities

I saw another theatrical performance this weekend. It was a pre-matinee show. To be honest, I couldn't follow the plot very well. It was about a girl and her fraught relationship with her mother...that much I figured out. And it started in a very prosaic way, as so much modern work does these days...with the mother asking the daughter to get up because they have to go to church.

The mother and father in the piece then went about doing ordinary things...drinking coffee, looking at their computers, showering. I wasn't sure at first what the playwright intended, unless it was to lull the audience into a false sense of domestic calm. Yes, that must have been it.

The mother had a line which she repeated over and over...."Get up, honey", "Get up, honey" and then, as the play built toward the end of Act I, the line became more hurried, less delicate. The "honey" was dropped as the urgency built. And then, the daughter entered from off stage, tousled and wrapped in a blanket. The actress, who was very good despite her obvious youth, immediately launched into a tirade against the injustices of parents, the weight of expectation, the exhaustion of being a teen-ager. "I can't go to church," she wailed. "I'm exhausted! No one understands how hard it is to be in a play!" (Was she breaking the fourth wall or was there a play within the play?) The character of the mother was, at this point, clearly left with no patience. "You knew the commitment you were making, you said you could handle it".

"I CAN handle it," cried the daughter. "I just can't handle being tired".

And this is where the scene devolved into a mess of illogical mystification. And shouting. Quite a lot of shouting. Although, I must give credit to the actress playing the mother, because she played this bit with a veneer of calm over a seething mass of frustration...so real it was palpable in the audience.

The first act ended abruptly and due to a variety of circumstances, the 2nd act of "NO ONE UNDERSTANDS ME!" won't start again for a few hours.

I'll let you know how it turns out but to be honest, I'm not sure this is a work that I find particularly enjoyable. I was discussing the 1st act with a friend at church. She too had seen the play, many times, and noted that she has even seen it enacted with a 22 year old player.

I did not like the sound of that at all.

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9 Comments:

Blogger Sling opined...

'Let's all go to the lobby..Let's all go to the lobby,..and grab ourselves a snack!'..

November 08, 2009 3:39 PM  
Blogger Miss Healthypants opined...

Just like on TV, there is just some plain crappy theater out there. :)

November 08, 2009 4:16 PM  
Blogger Buck opined...

Can I buy you a drink during the intermission?

Nevermind. . . . The lights just blinked and we have to return to our seats.

November 08, 2009 5:11 PM  
Blogger jp opined...

Um... Encore?

November 08, 2009 6:45 PM  
Blogger Molly opined...

I continually sang 'Let's all go to the lobby...." whilst Emma, my mother, and myself waited for Wicked to start. To quote my sister, "I'm going to punch you in the mouth." We had a wonderful time. :)

November 08, 2009 10:38 PM  
Blogger Willym opined...

Oh I've seen a play like this before - if I recall it wasn't all that well received but it had an extremely long run!

November 08, 2009 11:28 PM  
Blogger D.A. opined...

Oh dear, sorry to spoil the start of your week an' all, but I often see it enacted by 26 and 28 year olds...

A good solution is to book holidays in faraway locations... and to sell your soul to the devil to raise funding for them.

Have a chirpy week.

November 09, 2009 3:59 AM  
Blogger Citymouse opined...

I bet you and about 30 others paid $5 each to see this... I am so in the wrong business.....

November 09, 2009 5:40 AM  
Blogger rosemary opined...

Wow...this is a classic tale....I saw it in the 60's and early 70'....and I think again with a plot including a child that had moved back home after leaving for several years. I'm heading for the lobby too...do they serve alcohol?

November 10, 2009 12:44 PM  

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