Saturday, October 13, 2007

Start Up (GTA's Road Theater USA)

I like the ambition of GTA's newest German import from prolific modernist Roland Schimmelpfennig: taking the play Start Up on a sixteen city tour of America in only seven weeks. But I worry that that ambition may blunt the truisms at the heart of the play: that culture has no place in commerce, and that America has become "a country of cinematography." I also worry that Ronald Marx, an actor turned artistic director, may have bit off a bit too much in his multimedia presentation of the show: the scenes are energetic, but seem unfocused, and the home-movie looking monologues, while focused, track all over the place. Some rambling is needed, especially for a play that's half road trip, but I'd expect more from this cast and, to be honest, a little more fury from this playwright (who seems to have toned things down for when this play tours to more rural, certainly less experimental, neighborhoods). But hey, it's a start.

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