Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Len Asleep In Vinyl

photo: Joan Marcus

Carly Mensch's brief and underdramatized play about a burned out middle aged record producer barely finds a groove before it's over: for about as long as it would take to play the average CD (seventy minutes) we watch the depressed, somewhat volatile main character holed up in his getaway cabin following a tabloid-level incident at an awards show. He's descended upon by his estranged son, his ex-wife, a neighborhood kid who idolizes him, and a troubled Britney Spears-type pop star who is his latest project: potentially interesting characters all, put over by a capable cast, but the playwright, despite a talent for dialogue, doesn't do anything particularly interesting with them. The relationship between the son, an aspiring musician, and the neglectful dad, who isn't interested in hearing the kid's "chamber pop" music, seems to be meant to illustrate a cultural chasm between the generations, but it doesn't have much resonance for me at this moment in time during the phenomenon of Guitar Hero and the resulting popularity of new rock.

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