Thursday, February 08, 2007

The Secret of Mme. Bonnard's Bath

Not Horovitz's best work, and I feel he certainly over-directed it, but The Secret of Mme. Bonnard's Bath is interesting enough to keep me at the theater. I don't like that the two actors supporting John Shea's turn as Bonnard are forced to narrate the piece too: the metadrama is as out of place as much of the comedy, if if the metadrama is justified by Bonnard's beliefs about art (that the artist must remain visible, that the piece of art must be seen as a piece of art) and if the comedy wins points on the merits of it being genuinely funny (as many of Horovitz's works tend to be). But it's unbalanced, and still too much like a rough sketch. The technical aspects haven't been smoothed out, particularly with the transitioning light gels, and the use of music highlights the weaknesses of the dramatic scenes. Also, the performances aren't likely to win any awards: they get the job done more often than not, but there's a measure of flatness to the play as is right now. Like Bonnard, revising his work twenty-five years later, Horovitz might want to consider a few more touch-ups on this play.

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