Tuesday, March 06, 2007

it is said the men are over in The Steel Tower

I understand that Hideo Tsuchida must have written it is said the men are over in The Steel Tower to be purposefully mundane, but whatever universal elements of war he may have captured in the original have been lost in translation, and done a disservice by its performance. Japanese to English, then adapted into American, then blandly directed . . . I hate to criticize the work itself, but what I saw was an unpolished collection of men squabbling, using dialogue that sounds improvised (it's just written that way) to make a series of unimportant points. The vaudeville troupe at the heart of this play doesn't actually perform at all (and they're meant to be mediocre); they just worry about being caught between the army they've deserted (as relief-show performers) and the guerrillas the army will attack within the week. The play is mired in worry, which is the point, but it's not enjoyable theater. It's empty: drowned out by an excess of subtlety, it winds up not being subtle at all.

[Read on]

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