That Was The Week That Was, 24 February - 1 March 2005"

THE THEATER MIRROR, New England's LIVE Theater Guide


That Was
The Week
That Was

24 February - 1 March '05

24 feb MISSED SIGH GONE Asian American Resource Wkshp HERNANDEZ CENTER
25 feb WIGGER As Yet To Be Theatre Company DEVANAUGHN
26 feb HOMEBODY/KABUL Boston Theatre Works BCA

I wrote this column once, then Lost it by pushing the wrong button too soon."Sorrywise; apologize!"

Again --- I've already done full reviews of "Misssed Sigh Gone" and "Wigger" and "Homebody/Kabul", But I left out a couple things from one review:

When I said that "Homebody/Kabul" was excellently acted I meant it, but aside from Michelle Dowd I didn't even mention the names of the actors playing Afghani natives, and I apologize for that.
The cast list lists the Names of Characters (And alphabetically by Actor's Last Name, not in order of appearance!), and my mind didn't pin the names on the actors well enough to tell who played who. Those characters range from those fluent in English (Sujoy De as Dr. Qari Shah & Michelle) to those whose English is stilted or broken to one at least whose "I Hate All Americans!"-stance is rendered entirely in harsh, emotional Pashtoon.
In addition to Mr. De, those I left out were Paul Giragos, John Sarrouf, and Amar Srivastava. Since the interactions between characters are everywhere what I call "ensemble playing" I felt I had to give their names public praise somehow.

The other aspect to Tony Kushner's text that got short shrift is its music --- it's dramatic Poetry. And I don't mean Just in that opening Dialogue with the audience. These people continually cut to the bone of personally felt truth, hitting one another with surprising comments, and going on with brief flights of eye-opening observations. For that one reason alone, I want to see the show a second time.

But there is one word of caution: the "Homebody" delivers her initial long speech in a box stage-right --- a room in her home, with table and chairs and cabinets behind her. It's a box seen best from the CENTER-SECTION SEATS, but hardly seen at all from seats at the edges of the wings of this three-quarter-thrust audience wrapped around what (quite surprisingly!) becomes the sandy, bomb-damaged Afghan landscape. The night I saw it, there were apparently angry people who had had those seats asking for refunds.
Despite her performance, merely HEARING Nancy Carroll isn't really enough.

In Other Matters:
As you may know, I hate, detest, and abominate Advertising. It's a reaction to endless saturation-ads on the radio-plays of my youth. Every once in a while, though, something catches my eye.
For instance, in an old issue of the Sunday TIMES Magazine I saw a pale blue full-page with a darker-blue sketch of a wide-body jet, with these white-letter words:

"If all the world's a stage,
visit every one.
Delta is proud to be the Official
Airline of the Manhattan Theatre Club.

And now Two weeks ago there was a big full-page color ad in The Sunday New York TIMES Section Two (ARTS) announcing:
20 weeks only! Begins April 8th
Alan Alda (and 5 other actors in identical large type)
But the kicker was in smaller type: "Now through March 3rd, the only way to get tickets is with American Express Gold Card Events" and the line at the top of the ad read:
Okay, those ads were paid for by Delta and AmEx --- who were using THEATER to capture people's attention.
That's a camel's-nose of Co-op Advertising that I think ought to be encouraged. I wish I could convince My Bank (CITIZENS BANK) that an ad comparing the "It's Everywhere! It's Everywhere!" spread of their mini-ATMs in almost every little convenience story in the city to the OVER NINETY THEATRES that I found In Boston Alone!
Maybe I should try to call them about it.......

But don't hold your breath!


THE THEATER MIRROR, New England's LIVE Theater Guide