Thursday, April 10, 2008

thirty-seven stones (or the man who was a quarry)

Granted, there should be some level of discomfort in a play about a emotionally (and henceforth physically) traumatized man-child who goes around passing stones. But what unnerved me about Mark J. Charney's production was how rough the acting was, and how strained that made the text. I've liked past productions from Working Man's Clothes, but this play lacks the intense commitment of Penetrator or the comic charm of I Used to Write on Walls; instead, it uses a very obvious device (the medical condition) to parallel the many ways in which Edna (Mary Round) has ruled and ruined her son Nathan's (Steven Strobel's) life. After a while, the scenes are just the same old, same old, and director Will Neuman gets left holding the plausibility bill as he tries to pull laughs from a recalcitrant cast. If you crave the uncomfortably immature, look no further, but this is far from a working show.

[Read on]

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