Monday, April 11, 2011


Arcadia is one of my three all-time favorite plays (the other two are Cloud Nine and A Streetcar Named Desire), and all I can say to David Leveaux, director of the current Broadway production, is shame on you. Arcadia is by Tom Stoppard and it's all about the language--except that in this production, it's hard to hear what people are saying. Arcadia is Stoppard's most emotionally realized play--except that in this production, it's impossible to care about anyone, including Thomasina,  the heart of the play. Arcadia is extremely funny--except that in this production, many of the actors don't know how to phrase a laugh line (and half the time you can't hear them anyway). Arcadia is thought-provoking--except that in this production, it provokes the wrong thoughts, things like "will the first act ever end" and "what did he say?" and "why did Wendy tell us to see this?" (That last thought was indeed thought by the people to whom I recommended Arcadia. In a just world, we'd all get our money back, not to mention the three hours of our lives.)

My niece's high school recently did The Drowsy Chaperone. If you saw their production, you genuinely saw The Drowsy Chaperone. In contrast, if you saw this production of Arcadia, you did not genuinely see Arcadia. (And the poster is lame.)

(Saw this twice with tdf tickets, in the mezz. Didn't use the third, more-expensive ticket I had bought before the show opened, in what turned out to be an excess of optimism.) 


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