Sometimes seeing a mediocre production of a play can be surprisingly elucidating. For example, the Onomatopoeia Theatre Company's version of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, which is (definitely and unfortunately) mediocre, still manages to provide a fair amount of the humor and mystery of Tom Stoppard's classic work. The amazing, unbreakable spine of the piece shows through. On the other hand, this R&G lacks most of the piece's emotion, rarely going below the surface of this complex work.
Jean Larson as Rosencrantz and Jocelyn Vammer as Guildenstern manage to give effective performances (although Vammer is a bit too fond of arm-waving and face-making). This is the third production of R&G I've seen with women in the lead roles (the other two productions had all-female casts), and the cross-gender casting works. I'm glad whenever women get good roles. Of the rest of the cast, Gregory Pike stands out as a Hamlet I'd like to see do Hamlet. He makes a surprisingly strong impression in a small role.
(first row, audience left, press ticket)