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Author Topic: Theater  (Read 4239 times)
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« Reply #15 on: June 29, 2007, 01:07:35 AM »

Theater Review | 'Old Acquaintance': Revisiting Old Friends Who Write and Fight


Two very different roads to the past are being traveled by two very different actresses in this mildly entertaining, maddeningly disjunctive revival.


http://theater2.nytimes.com/2007/06/29/theater/reviews/29acqu.html?ex=1340769600&en=ec5f0c752a5d98a3&ei=5088&partner=rssnyt&emc=rss
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« Reply #16 on: June 30, 2007, 10:06:25 PM »

Enter Acting, Pursued by Applause


Audiences love to show their appreciation when stars walk onstage. How do the stars feel about it?


http://www.nytimes.com/2007/07/01/theater/01pinc.html?ex=1340942400&en=4ed4bd3d8ffb00b8&ei=5088&partner=rssnyt&emc=rss
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« Reply #17 on: June 30, 2007, 10:06:25 PM »

The Thirty Years? War, All 10 Hours of It


Peter Stein, Germany?s biggest postwar directing star, is staging a 10-hour version of Friedrich Schiller?s classic 18th-century trilogy ?Wallenstein.?


http://www.nytimes.com/2007/07/01/theater/01kalb.html?ex=1340942400&en=73c8dce3fcae1752&ei=5088&partner=rssnyt&emc=rss
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« Reply #18 on: July 01, 2007, 01:44:25 PM »

"performed in an abandoned beer warehouse in the gritty working-class district of Neukölln,"  YES!
JAH, That's the mark of what makes it authentically German whether the Drama is of the Theater or Film-art.
Perhaps the director also saw that  show-case of "dilapidated sets" by Soderbergh? Who can forget the production of the criminals' court in a beer warehouse for M by Fritz Lang in 1931.  One must set the mood. What I'm picking up here is that, "prologue, followed by a one-hour play written in knittelvers... that sketches out the war background and the general’s legend through the banter of ordinary soldiers": “Wallenstein’s Camp” speaks to a current mood for which Peter Stein chooses to take  history and use it critically.


"reverence for the text"

"Under these circumstances, experienced and inexperienced theatergoers alike readily surrender to the immediate pleasures of the text after a while."

That has recently been attempted here, more in context of ideas  discussed between segments of a lengthy work and of course I have by now forgotten,  as to production, who wrote what? Reviews had been written from the point of view of the audience interest in this new phenomenon.  So we perhaps do want a theatre of ideas, after  so long an absence. What we have never had is respect for the playwright's text, where we suppose the playwright is just a facilitator who supplies something for the audience's desired gawking at celebrities given something to chew on while being admiringly looked at.

Where it annoys me is where it comes down to the less than professional theatre, community and amateur theatre production where the text is abridged, for various rationales,at the level where the neophyte actor is beginning to discover the purpose of theatre and acting as a profession. The purpose becomes distorted until you are left with a culture that has become entirely ersatz and which has lost its connections with its origins.

When this is done to texts by Shakespeare, you begin to sense something has gone awry.  On the other hand this may be a good thing  if you sense it in Sandusky, Ohio (for purposes of illustration only) as a young actor and head for New York or the Pasadena Playhouse.  It will at least save your soul, even if you do not become famous.
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« Reply #19 on: July 01, 2007, 01:55:31 PM »

Brantley sounds like a very good reviewer, his writing has style, until he gets to that part about "chick-lit".
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« Reply #20 on: July 01, 2007, 02:53:57 PM »

I am with Frank Langella on this one, not that Christopher Plummer is any less professional at about 50 years in the theatre (and I certainly short-changed him yesterday by inadvertently forgetting the current production when I raised the idea of how the role is played,  as an example, when discussing what Marlon Brando did in a Movie: A Dry White Season, in a courtroom scene.


“Elitism is absolutely the issue,” Professor Konecni said. “I have good taste, I have money, I have sensitivity, I am rewarding myself mentally.” One feels a giddy sense of accomplishment, he said, for having made it into the same room as Kevin Spacey.

"Steppenwolf’s artistic director, said her audiences “would be less inclined to clap, because they feel like they have a conversation with our actors that’s kind of ongoing.”

Now that's the result of repertoire theatre, an ensemble that continually works together, and I was going to attribute Langella's judicious decision to possibly a more European outlook until the article actually took up the matter of the National Theater (UK) and the Chichester Festival Theater,"one person clapped, and was promptly shushed." That seems to be a case where having a longer tradition than our own experience, it is a case where the audience are "professionals" unlike the pleb origins  of audiences in Shakespeare's day.

But when Paula Schwartz goes on to explain the attitudes of  Method acting and directors who prefer the Stanislavsky technique, that better describes Langella's preparation for a role such as he is performing now.

I once caught one episode of a series in which he played a director, and it was fascinating to watch him and listen to his directions, it makes one wish that they had the opportunity, I wish anyway, to have a director of such clarity about what the end results should be if you have prepared properly.  I also wished that I hadn't been so dumb, until witnessing the last episode,as not to tune in to this series from the start !

But I've saved the best for last.
"In Japan traditional kabuki theater is known for kakegoe: shouting at actors upon their entrance, and throughout the performance. When an actor strikes a traditional pose along the entrance, audiences will shout out his yago — literally “shop name” or theatrical studio — or lines of encouragement like “You’re better than your father!,” referring to the tradition of passing roles down through the generations.

Kakegoe makes up for the nonexistence of curtain calls. “There’s a saying in kabuki theater that if you wait until the end of the performance, it’s too late,” said David Furumoto, who teaches theater at the University of Wisconsin."

I first became interested in this tradition in about 1954, when reading Donald Keene's accounts of Asian theatre in general and specifically when he was on R and R in India while stationed in Japan during the American occupation of Japan. I had always been interested in Indian music and dance but bit by bit, as his own writings in Japanology coincided with the arrival of Japanese Film in the US, the Japanese acting techniques became captivating along with the culture in general. In one sense, he had  eventually led me  to recognizing when the appropriate mentor came along.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Donald_Keene


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« Reply #21 on: July 15, 2007, 04:11:30 AM »

Miller?s Tales


Arthur Miller?s final book is a short-story collection.


http://www.nytimes.com/2007/07/15/books/review/McCarter-t.html?ex=1342152000&en=b45d49b1e2dc492d&ei=5088&partner=rssnyt&emc=rss
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« Reply #22 on: July 15, 2007, 11:30:17 AM »

God, this reads like kind of a back-handed slap. On top of that, from somebody to whom they just handed the assignment because, he doesn't have anything too important to contribute this week , in the plum comp-ticket category. It is condescending; does he suppose the book is going to end up on the remainder tables?   Dumb but it probably isn't a generational problem or anything is it?  They will end up as collector's items for which you have to pay a prime price at your on-line book finder service.

I have been continually surprised during the last seven years, that nobody makes a connection to one of this playwright's greatest indictments of this kind of political atmosphere in his play: All My Sons.

When I first saw the heading listed for the Theater forum today, I thought, oh, it would be just like them to do a Miller retrospective of scenes or something at the McCarter Theater, like an opportunity to do
"Summer Stock" in the region.

But no, I guess that I will just have to chalk this one up to some guy with a  carry over crush on Marilyn Monroe; who, therefore, has to be envious of Arthur Miller, while lacking an interest in finding out what the man actually is noted for writing.

Well, at least the guy knows who Dustin Hoffman is.
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« Reply #23 on: July 16, 2007, 07:08:35 PM »

Life Is a Weimar Dream, Old Chum, and Downtown Loves a Nouveau Cabaret


Cabaret acts are superimposing a risqu? German style onto the performance art and theater scene below 14th Street.


http://www.nytimes.com/2007/07/17/theater/17caba.html?ex=1342324800&en=afc8d3e7f01028ff&ei=5088&partner=rssnyt&emc=rss
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« Reply #24 on: July 17, 2007, 07:08:02 PM »

Broadway to Serve Dinner


Kenny Leon is to direct a stage version of the 1967 movie ?Guess Who?s Coming to Dinner.?


http://www.nytimes.com/2007/07/18/theater/18arts-BROADWAYTOSE_BRF.html?ex=1342411200&en=b90dd11edd30a3e1&ei=5088&partner=rssnyt&emc=rss
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« Reply #25 on: July 18, 2007, 12:07:50 PM »

Dance Review | Company So Go No: When Librarians Go Bad, Texts Tumble


There?s a lot going on in Company So Go No?s ?Art of Memory,? a 50-minute dance-theater romp conceived and directed by Tanya Calamoneri that spans several continents and decades in source materials alone.


http://www.nytimes.com/2007/07/18/arts/dance/18memo.html?ex=1342411200&en=13d11b41b97de438&ei=5088&partner=rssnyt&emc=rss
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« Reply #26 on: July 18, 2007, 01:33:04 PM »

YES!
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« Reply #27 on: July 18, 2007, 01:43:30 PM »

I'll give it a maybe; entirely on the strength of an August Wilson affiliation. That's the positive side. If they make an unfortunate casting choice as happened to a remake of -- Raisin in the Sun, then it won't matter anyway.  These roles call for an actor and not a celebrity who someone thinks appears to live like they always act.  But in either case Poitier was the actor -- of choice originally;and, at that time in our history, Sidney obviously did not aspire to be Diddy Anybody.

Guess who is  --  flew on the basis of the parental pair who had been a pair for at least a couple of generations by then, the unstated Silver nonwedded anniversary perhaps, if not longer.

I guess that I'll wait until production takes place and then I can carp at the reviewers. Right?
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« Reply #28 on: July 18, 2007, 02:19:09 PM »

“Weimar New York” is also meant as entertainment, albeit of a darker sort. Its creators envision the show as happening “between the first terrorist attack and the next.”

"...And for those in “Weimar” and the other shows, the sexy, risqué material feels like a throwback to an earlier New York, before the new Times Square and the newer, posher Lower East Side. ...

“No one moved here from their hometown, U.S.A., to go to the Disney store.”    That reminder can have a dark edge. As Mr. Hammerstein put it: “This is the end of the world. Let’s have as much fun as possible.”

I PICKED UP ON THAT from the word go! Start reading this review!  Of course it turns German history on its head because Weimar led to the rubble in Berlin, despite all the intentions of  sexually rousing critique in a George Grosz style of reflection plus Egon Schiele in your face.  New York psychologically is now the Berliner realism of Lotte Lenya.

But then, about five years ago, you could not get The New York Times critical editor, James Traub, to recognize that fact, when he wrote a piece in which he called us,"Weimar Whiners", which led me to ask in public, Who is James Traub?   

I am now very suspect of people of whom it used to be said, "they can not connect the dots". Basically, when they have had a stake in never wanting to do so.  Having worked for a Munich cabaret director following the war, who was now being persecuted in the US for not being a Nazi at the time of the war, was just too absurd a proposition and made me a dot connector for life.

But,thanks,nonetheless for leaving a trail of crumbs back to my mein own kinder. That's nichts-deutsch.
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« Reply #29 on: July 19, 2007, 01:10:55 AM »

Theater Review | 'Hokaibo': Guilty Pleasures of Comic Kabuki


In this rollicking sex comedy from 1784, Nakamura Kanzaburo XVIII, the master Kabuki artist, cuts up with an audience-seducing brio.


http://www.nytimes.com/2007/07/19/theater/reviews/19kabu.html?ex=1342497600&en=1008516318d825a3&ei=5088&partner=rssnyt&emc=rss
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