Saturday, December 21, 2013

2013 in Review (The Disappointments)

Disappointing shows, in alphabetical order:
  • The Big Knife: A waste of an excellent cast. And while Richard Kind was fine, I don't know why everyone made such a big deal of his being able to play a mean character. He is an actor, after all.
  • Orphans: I have no idea why anyone would want to revive this show. It was fun, however, to watch Tom Sturridge leap around the stage.
  • Collapse: Ick. I mean, ICK.
  • Macbeth: The Alan Cumming one-man show: full of sound and fury, signifying nothing. (For a different opinion from Liz Wollman, click here.)
  • Far From Heaven: A musical that needs the same advice that Jerome Robbins gave about Forum: define it from the opening song. A serious, heart-felt, traditional "I want" song from the female lead would focus it usefully. And then, I think, they should keep the focus on her. As it was, the show was diffuse and hard to care about.
Bruce Willis, Mary Louise Parker, John Malkovich
Red 2
  • Three Kinds of Exile: Three kinds of boring.
  • Women or Nothing: One almost has to admire Coen et al. got everything wrong. It shows a certain consistency.
  • Not What Happened: One of the best naps I've ever had in a theatre. However, it wasn't the performers' fault, and it was really sad that they had to face an audience of largely conked out people. It can't be fun.
  • Snow Geese. I don't know why Mary Louise Parker gets cast in period pieces. She is the essence of contemporary. Her performance in the movie Red 2 showed considerably more depth and was infinitely more engaging than her performance here.
  • The Landing: A sadly blah evening in the theatre.
  • The Jacksonian: Why? Why, why, why?
  • The loss of clarity: If the audience can't understand what people are saying on stage, they should be given their money back.
  • Rude audiences: It's not a TV show! They can hear you up there! I can hear you! Shut up! Stop rattling ice in your drink! Stop crumpling your M&M package!
  • Producers helping audiences be rude: You really can't make enough from the $150 tickets? You really also have to wring every cent out of concessions by allowing, even suggesting, the audience to bring their noisy drinks and snacks into the theatre?
  • Ticket prices: I guess it's just a fact that Broadway producers are comfortable having audiences made up solely of wealthy people. I don't blame them for wanting to make a profit, and I know it's legit to charge what the market will bear, but how about 4 rows in the back of the theatre at a genuinely affordable price? Wouldn't that be a good investment in audience development?
Well, I guess I sound like a middle-aged fart, but at least I resisted writing "When I was young . . ."

Happy New Year everyone. Wishing you much wonderful theatre!

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