Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Reviews N' Stuff

I've watched a lot of stuff lately and I'm in the mood to review, so here we go:

The first thing I want to write about, as promised, is The Mortal Fools Theatre Project's production of The Glass Menagerie. To preface, I'm a little embarassed to admit that I've never read The Glass Menagerie from cover to cover, nor had I seen it produced until last night. It's a pity, I know. I knew the basic plot outline and I've seen scenes from it, but I really didn't know what to expect.

Though small and simple, the technical aspects were the first element that really entranced me. This was my first time in the Provo City Theater and I was immediately in love with the space. It's intimate, yet traditional. It's the perfect venue for this American classic. The set felt very much like a complete living room; the sharp and angular walls being the only abstract piece. It felt real enough for the story to hit home, but also distorted enough for this to be a "memory play." The lighting was very effective, and the music created a moving ambience.

As for the acting, it was impressive. That is an understatement but I don't know how else to phrase it.  Simpy put, seeing acting of this caliber in such a small venue is far beyond the $10 ticket price. Each character was so alive. They were living, breathing, and existing in the space so naturally. Part of me wondered how they would react if something completely unexpected were to happen. Each character was full of a consistency and fluidity that made them entirely believable from scene to scene. Even though I knew it wouldn't happen, I was afraid that Laura could potentially jump off of the balcony each time she got near it. I don't know if that was intentionally played, but it read to me quite clearly. Details and nuances like this made this heavy and literary work compelling and intriguing throughout. I loved it.

I also saw BYU's production of the Spanish tragedy Blood Wedding. I knew nothing of the story going into this. At first, the poetic language was a bit overbearing. I was falling behind as I was concentrating to make sure I knew what was going on plot-wise. However, that frustration was quickly suppressed when the aural and visual aspects of the show came into play. Everything about this production was stylized. The movement was beautiful and exaggerated; music, vocals, and even breathing patterns exentuated key moments within the script. The artisitic elements were sometimes thrilling and sometimes confusing, but they were always a pleasure to behold, even if I was lost. This show runs until Saturday and I highly recommend it to anyone that likes to see a non-traditional approach to theater. This is part tragedy, part musical, part poetry reading, and part dance performance, all spun into one piece to tell a very human story.

Lastly, I finally saw Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland this weekend. It was an acid trip, and I loved it. Need I say more? Johnny Depp, Helena Bonham Carter, and (surprisingly) Anne Hathaway were all hysterical. Plus, it had random dancing that was quite amusing.

And one final thing. I couldn't get away without saying that As You Like It opens to the public tomorrow. Please come. I think you'll enjoy it. That'll be all.

The Glass Menagerie photo by Michael Handley

1 comment:

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