Great Poe review from
The Green Man Review
I've seen a couple of plays in the last week--first I went to see Mabou Mines' version of Ibsen's The Doll House. I had high hopes for this as I usually love Mabou Mines (even though they gave an awful rendition of Flow My Tears, The Policeman Said about 20 years ago) and I read that there were puppets --something they use very well in their productions. However, the production was a major disappointment. Once you got past the initial shock of all the men being played by dwarfs or midgets and Nora being played as a whingy, obnoxious child who is almost six feet tall. The set is a doll house through whose small door everyone (male and female)must pass to get onto the set. Symbolically this works very nicely but once you get the symbolism there's not anything else in the production that says anything new....Btw, the puppets only appear at the end are not used very interestingly (so Mary, don't rush to see the show just for them). I left the theater being more than a little pissed off.
Last night I finally saw August: Osage County, the Pulitzer Prize winning play by Tracy Letts. It currently has a cast including Elizabeth Ashley, John Cullum, and Estelle Parsons. I had my doubts when it first began but within fifteen minutes I was mesmerized. The play's about an elderly couple--the husband's a big boozer, the wife a pill freak (with cancer of the mouth--a nice symbol of her viciousness). They have three grown daughters: two have moved away, the middle one remains in town. The mother's sister and brother-in-law are also in the picture. And a native American caregiver is hired to take care of the household and the mother.
The husband (John Cullum) disappears and the family comes together and ...interacts (badly). The characters are very nice drawn and the acting is fine. More complex relationships/problems emerge. The mother is a monster and Parsons plays her perfectly. As Rick Bowes says, it's a soap opera but a very good one. It's very long (over three hours) but totally absorbing.
- plays and Poe