Thursday, January 5, 2012

January Monroe County

For play, not pay, I went to see August Osage County last night at the Waterfront Playhouse in Key West and have to admit I was a bit disappointed. This is a professional theater in the third week of a run and yet a couple of scenes were as sluggish as the first day off book. The actors stumbled over forgotten lines and sat around looking at each other. "Life is Long," a quote from T.S. Elliott, is the first line in the play, the implication being that life continues past the point of enjoyment, and unfortunately this production seemed to take that as stage direction. The play dawdles through three hours and 15 minutes, including two intermissions. I appreciated the artistic impact of the three-act format, and would not suggest altering that, but I think the Pulitzer Prize-winning play needs a little trimming. Don't get me wrong, it has powerful moments as well as funny ones.This is the story of an Oklahoma family full of secrets. It includes some spectacular portrayals, especially Joy Hawkins as the pill popping matriarch Violet. But there's a lot of slop around the edges that doesn't add to the characters or the impact, it just muddies everything. I will be interested to see how Actors Theatre in Grand Rapids deals with these challenges when it produces the show in May.

No comments:

Post a Comment