Sunday, November 23, 2008

Let it Snow, Let it Snow, Let it Snow

So I've gotten some flack for not posting in awhile, but I must say, there has sort of been nothing exciting going on. I've been busy working and nothing has screamed "blog about me." But, I have to talk about American Buffalo...

Though first i want to praise one of my favorite Broadway performers--a girl who should work way more than she does--Meredith Patterson. Longtime readers of this blog know I've been a fan of Meredith's since she was Peggy Sawyer on Broadway. I desperately wanted her to be the lead in Never Gonna Dance, but that didn't work. And there have been other roles in recent years I could have totally seen her in and, instead, we got people who weren't as good. I saw White Christmas in LA because of her and I saw it here tonight. I know she doesn't have the flashiest role, but I hope people spot that she is completely in period and doing great work. She is consistent throughout and has the right style. seriously.

Now onto American Buffalo. Usually when shows open and close they don't have stars in them, so it's somewhat less embarrassing. Like who even remembers who was in that musical at the Circle in the Square? But this was a big Mamet revival, directed by the respected Robert Falls, with three different named stars in it. And actually that last thing was part of the problem--this show had the most random cast on Broadway. Honestly. It was hard to believe. I loved it so much because if you told non-theater people about the casting they didn't believe you. My friend Barbara's only reaction was: "WHAT?" And so there were only two alternatives--it could have been a genius stunt that surprised everyone or not. And I was hoping it would work somehow, but, no, it didn't. They were acting in 3 different shows. John Leguizamo was pushing SO hard, Haley Joel Osmet wasn't pushing at all and Cedric the Entertainer was somewhere in the middle (or maybe at different points on one poll and at different points at the other). More than that though--can someone explain to me the play? What was the point of reviving it? Anyone? I just don't get it. I mean, I'm not a huge Mamet fan, but, if it's enjoyable, it's enjoyable. I don't get this play. What is the point? Why have we sat there? I really want comments from fans.

Oh, speaking of Mamet, I enjoyed Speed-the-Plow well enough, but.... Did anyone else realize it's like $1.46 a minute if you sit in the orchestra (in non-premium seats)? Because, I feel like in this economy, I want more for my $1.46 a minute. I want dancing and/or big sets and/or free food and/or Shirley MacLaine.


RLewis said...

Love the last paragraph - the Bway Baby lives! lol. As for Am' Buf', it's just gotta fall on the director, unless the playwright was sitting over his shoulder and has the most power in the room (a possibility). For just one thing, how many times can someone say, "I gotta go." or "We gotta get you out of here." and no one moves! Someone's gotta head for the door, and someone's gotta stop him - physically - that's the match striking to illuminate something. 30 years ago you could get away with such a talkie, but in this day, that play has got to be muscular like bull. Well, at least the playwright heard all of his words. I was sad I saw it.

Ken Davenport said...

Your paragraph about the PPM (price per minute) of Speed (and not just because I'm a Producer of it) is an interesting one. When is a show too short? I'm a big believe that in this YouTube society we live in, there is a trend in the public wanting our entertainment in short bursts. See this post:

But is there a point when we go too far? Does the movie "industry's 90 minutes = feature" also translate to consumer value? Could you sell a Broadway show that was off-the-charts fantastic that was only 1 hour?

Or is it not about the quality, and is it more about the density, like you suggest (big costumes, big sets, big dancing)?

Lindsay Price said...

Yep, there's something awry with the experience if you can actually calculate the price of the seat per minute.

I watched Hal Holbrook alone on stage with nothing but words (his Mark Twain show) for two full acts and he had my full attention from start to end. I think that overall length is perhaps an valid point (I get antsy when acts are longer than 90 minutes) but I do not believe we can't sit still for something of value.

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