The other night Ms. Hicks and I went to go see a play in the Capital Fringe. This is an arts festival somewhat similar to the Edinburgh Fringe, but lacking the awesome, street-fair antics of the Royal Mile. Anyway, Ms. Hicks' other friends had already seen the play and said it was a riot, which helped convince me, because I know full well that many Fringe plays are terrible.
This one was terrible.
It was also 95 minutes long, which was a lot longer than I was ready to have stolen from me.
You've heard me jaw on enough about how important that it is for theater artists to repay their audience's faith; the audience gives money and time upfront, and the artists must repay that with an experience that is enriching either emotionally, intellectually, or aesthetically. Better yet: All Three!
This was none.
Set changes were carried out by the actors walking casually across the stage and languidly placing set pieces while random pop music tunes from at least 20 years played. During scenes actors were only standing in their light 50% of the time. Lines at the end of scenes, clearly written to be a button, were often mumbled and swallowed. So outside all the issues with the playwrighting--and they were legion--just the overall care of the production did not reach the level of a typical Acting 1 show.
I'm tempted to go on and on, but you know what? It made me proud to know you. It made me proud to work with you, and impressed with your skill. Actually, any of the top 15 high school plays in our state is so much more thoughtful and compelling than this so-called professional show.
On the way out, I snagged a program (long story why I didn't get one going in) and when I read over the bios of the people involved, it turned out that they were mostly recent graduates of George Mason college...as was the dippy reviewer who gave the show 5 stars in one of the most jaw-droppingly dumb theater reviews I've ever read. So they were not exactly professionals, just dopey kids with a dream and not much talent. So I should feel no ill will towards them ...But how would you feel if someone made you pay $25 to watch "Lunch?"
(Speaking of: the "Lunch" school is coming back this year and they are in our theater!)