Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Pinecrest Rep: Oleanna (1 review)

Pinecrest Rep opened its production of David Mamet's Oleanna on May 15, 2010 at the Pinecrest Gardens Banyan Bowl (former home of Parrot Jungle).
In the no-man's land between misunderstanding and sexual harassment, we watch with impotent dread as the relationship between professor and student entirely breaks down, as their mutual respect evaporates and an unbridgeable divide opens which can only destroy one or both of them.  This is the gender war, and more than that.  It's the generation gap, and more than that.  It's the class struggle, and more than that.
Max Pearl directed a cast that featured Bertha Leal and Greg Schroeder.

Brandon K. Thorp
reviewed for the Miami New Times:
David Mamet's Oleanna, when treated with even half of the passion and smarts evident in Max Pearl's blistering Pinecrest Rep production, is an exhilarating play.
Greg Schroeder is a soulful actor, and his Dr. John seems to mean what he says, even if he cannot do anything about it. In the next scene he will take three minutes to deliver two sentences... This is not how you talk to an unlearned child accusing you of impenetrability. But John doesn't know that.
Bertha Leal is a young actress, and in some ways she is very green... Her attempt at a predatory smile (stick tongue against top two teeth, grin big, widen eyes to affect mock-friendliness) is a put-on, and makes her look even younger than she is.

Green or not, though, Leal is a prodigious talent. The contrast between her plaintive declaration of ignorance in the first scene — "What's a 'term of art'?" — and her haughty declaration of same in the second — "I don't know what a paradigm is" — is masterful.
The Pinecrest Rep prodcution of Oleanna plays at the Banyan Bowl through June 6, 2010.


  1. I'm sorry. Were Brandon and I watching the same show?

    Definitely NOT a must see. Venue was quite inappropriate for the piece.

    Mamet has seen better.

  2. I know we are all entitled to our own opinion, but one has to wonder why “Groppy” feels it is necessary to go from blog to blog trying to discredit this production. He first posted a sarcastic comment in the Drama Queen then he posted his own review in the New Times and now here.

    Groppy, you sure are wasting a lot of energy on a play you did not like. When I don’t like a play I usually forget about it as soon as I leave the theatre.

  3. The fact that "groppy" refuses to attach his/her name to the comment tells you all you need to know. Sounds like someone with an axe to grind. As someone else here stated, why does groppy spend so much ample time going from blog to blog posting numerous comments about a show he/she alleges to hate so much? Methinks he does protest too much. I saw the show and found it to be powerful and moving. The use of this picturesque venue as a performance space is a brilliant idea and the current production is a perfect fit. I attend other shows frequently at GableStage, New Theatre, Arsht, and found Pinecrest Gardens' theatre to be every bit as great as the rest. Aside from that, I would trust the intelligent, articulate educated comments of a honed theatre critic over some quasi-literate, frustrated lurking hack any time. Rule of thumb: if you're too embarrassed of what you say to attach your name to it, its obviously not worth saying in the first place.