Wednesday, June 18, 2008

The Scene for June 20, 2008

The reviews are in for Mosaic Theatre's production of Neil LaBute's Wrecks:

The Miami Herald's Christine Dolan praises Gordon McConnell's performance, and admires Sean McClelland's set, but doesn't think much of the play itself. She also didn't think much of the addition of "mourners," essentially extras seated on stage to fill out the funeral that is the vehicle for the plot:
"These embellishments, however, ultimately don't obscure the fact that LaBute's slender monologue isn't much more than the carefully crafted setup for another aren't-men-awful payoff.

"McConnell, who is such a fine actor that he seems to be making Carr's words up as he goes along, conveys all of the character's emotional shadings and contradictions. But sitting in a smoke-filled room just to recoil at LaBute's gimmicky payoff? Not such fun."

Jack Zink at the Sun-Sentinel also lauds sets and McConnell's performance:
" creates a top-notch environment for an extraordinary performance by leading man Gordon McConnell..."
Overall, it seems that Jack enjoyed the show more than Christine, even mentioning that the addition of the mourners as "helping" set the scene for the show.

Which brings us to Brendan K. Thorp at the Broward-Palm Beach New Times. I had to read it several times to figure out what Brandon was trying to say. Most of his...article...(I can't call it a review) doesn't deal with the production of this play so much as Brandon's reaction to what he thinks the play might be.

How did he feel about McConnell's performance?
"As widower Edward Carr, Gordon McConnell looks cool in his fitted suit, dark glasses and blank stare, like a 50-something James Dean, respectable but still dangerous."
Uh huh. But was it good?
"McConnell's Carr spends most of his 75 minutes saying a whole lot of not much, and you feel bad for the guy even while wishing you were almost anywhere else but the Mosaic Theatre."
But was that because of the role or McConnell's portrayal?
"All you know is that this guy loved his wife a great deal, and now she's dead."
I don't think Brandon can answer that. He doesn't discuss the acting of Gordon McConnell, or the scenery, or Richard Jay Simon's staging, or indeed anything significant about the production.

After multiple readings, I really can't decide if Brandon actually SAW the play, or if he just read the script. That's because virtually every word he wrote, with the exceptions that I quoted here, deal solely with Neil LaBute's writing.
"For a long time, LaBute couldn't help but posit humanity as a craven, self-centered species whose members had no utility except in dishing out punishments to one another in a circle of endless flogging. The man pictured in Wrecks is not of that order, nor is the woman he loved. Yes, he has done something foul, something that would make him an outcast from all the human community if it were ever revealed. It's just that, in this instance, LaBute has made it clear that neither Carr nor his wife wanted it that way."
Fine. Great. So how was the production you saw? Did Richard J and Gordon do it justice? This isn't a college playwrighting course, Brandon, we want to know about the PRODUCTION OF the play.

City Theatre's extended Summer Shorts program continues through Sunday at the Arsht Center for the Performing Arts in Miami, and then moves up for one weekend at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts.

You should be forewarned that their UNDERSHORTS program won't be playing in Broward; if you want to see the R-rated program, you've got until this Saturday, June 21.

The good news is that they will be running their Shorts 4 Kids program. See their website for details.


The Jesus Quintero Studio production of The Trials of Young Werther is running through June 28th at the Miami Light Project's space in downtown Miami. Tickets are available through TheatreMania. Theatre Row has a good write-up of the production, and a video clip.


GableStage in Coral Gables is opening the southeastern premiere of Shining City this weekend. The cast includes John Bixler, Deborah L. Sherman, Ricky Waugh, and Greg Weiner.

Rising Action Theatre Company in Fort Lauderdale opens The Sisters Rosenweig.

M Ensemble Actors' Studio in North Miami opens The Fannie Lou Hamer Story, the compelling depiction of a woman who defined he term 'freedom fighter.'

Caldwell Theatre Company in Boca Raton is opening Pete 'n' Keely this weekend. This is a "revue-sical" featuring Carbonell Award winner Connie Saloutos and Alberto Stévans.

No comments:

Post a Comment