Sunday, April 20, 2008

From Up Here

Photo/Joan Marcus

I took the weekend off from criticism so that I could just revisit some plays I very much enjoyed (Hostage Song and Too Much Light Make the Baby Go Blind), but a few things worth mentioning regarding From Up Here. First: it's exceptionally well cast, and it plays to the strengths of emotionally introspective Tobias Segal (Kenny), awkwardly outgoing Will Rogers (Charlie), serious yet friendly Brian Hutchinson (Daniel), and excitably charming Julie White (Grace). (The rest of the cast is great, too, I just haven't seen them in anything before.) Second: the only thing holding Leigh Silverman back from perfection is her own perfection -- that is, she just makes her plays too aesthetically pleasing. That honey-colored sweetness worked for Well, but it sanded off the pulp from Beebo Brinker, defaced Yellow Face, and kept From Up Here far from any real danger. I love her work, I just want to see her dig into it. And finally, Liz Flahive's script is pretty dead on, from the angst of an ignored sister (Aya Cash) to the conflict of a favored aunt (Arija Bareikis): those people who leave Stage I thinking the play is just about Kenny's emotional bottleneck are missing the whole point: we're all up there. Some of us just fall better than others.

[Also blogged by: Patrick]

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