Thursday, January 24, 2008
The Main(e) Play
I'm a fan of playwright Chad Beckim, but The Main(e) Play needs to drop the burdensome (and often contradictory) asides and get down to the main point. His new play is blessed with two good actors (Alexander Alioto and Michael Gladis), doing the best work I've seen from either, but it doesn't have the richness of character and circumstance that 'nami did, nor does it have the straightforward narrative and first-person demands of Lights Rise on Grace. It's also a lot tamer: almost all of the action in this play is implied or taking place off stage -- it also strains credibility that a seven-year-old "monster" of a child, whose toys are strewn about the place, and whose violence is enough to drive two brothers apart, never actually appears in the play. I'm also disappointed in director Robert "In the Continuum" O'Hara, who directs so leadenly that the set seems like an obstacle for him. In any case, with a little less telling back and forth, and some wisely edited scenes, there's a good story about the alienation from home that comes with age; until then, stick to more honest work, like Bombs in Your Mouth.