Saturday, May 17, 2008

The Four Of Us

I've got no problem being the lone dissenter on this two-hander from Itamar Moses. I found the play-within-a-play conceit to ultimately work against the show: the only thing objectively real is the second-to-last scene, and the final scene is a cute little throwaway for those who have been paying attention to all the foreshadowing in the play. It's not even all that clever in a literary sense: Tom Stoppard's satirical The Real Inspector Hound did the same for critics that Moses is doing here with writers--except that he's attempt to delve a little into the corruptive power of celebrity and the pressures of sustaining one's integrity. But it's hard to listen to people complain about such empty issues . . . especially twice, with the scenes mostly parallels of one another. You can carefully construct an echo all you want--it's still just an empty sound. But let me not be too harsh: Moses's writing is, at times, very natural and--rightfully so--a reflection of his youth. Let him get the cricks out of his hand now, and his pen may yet write something truly engaging and not facilely fascinating.

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