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Thread: What are you seeing? What have you seen? (Theater Edition)

  1. #496
    'If you existed, I'd divorce you.' spyk_'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Markness View Post
    Saw Part 1 of Angels in America tonight thanks to National Theatre Live/Fathom Events.

    It was WONDERFUL. Andrew Garfield and Nathan Lane were fantastic, but my MVP was Denise Gough as Harper.

    Beyond that, I was reminded just what an amazing playwright Tony Kushner is. The way his language and emotional beats move is like poetry/music.

    Downside: due to inclement weather, our stream skipped TWICE in Act III, causing us to lose 20 minutes. Major bummer.
    I'm so glad you liked it Mark! I'm a huge fan of Denise Gough too, and I really liked her interpretation of Harper. I've spoken to some people who didn't think that much of her in this, but I really liked the sharp intelligence she gave the character. Andrew Garfield was my favourite though. I just wanted to give him the biggest hug. He was so full of warmth and humour and wit. I actually thought the cast was quite uneven. You had the heights of Lane and Garfield all the way down to the mumblings of Russell Tovey and Nathan Stewart-Jarrett. I don't think Tovey is the worst but I really don't like his taste in what he clearly thinks makes good acting. He had Gough there throwing him gold and he just sort of absorbs all the energy. As much as I liked both parts, they didn't completely gel as an ensemble. That's nit-picking though because what an achievement overall.

  2. #497
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kari View Post
    I saw Zoe Kazan play Harper here in NY when the Signature revived it, and it was ALL WRONG. ALLLLL WROOOOOOOONNNGGG
    I liked the Signature revival, although I see I must have seen it after the bulk of the original cast had moved on. I wasn't 100% sure about Michael Urie as Prior so for me Andrew Garfield was just wonderful, particularly in the dream/hallucination scene. And Nathan Lane was impressive as one would expect. I understand both comments about Harper - totally agree MLP is the definitive. I don't really remember who I saw off-Broadway now - my main recollection was I found Joe Pitt hard to 'connect with' whereas I love love love Patrick Wilson in the HBO. Tovey covered admirably I thought!

    Quote Originally Posted by thestrand View Post
    Other issue was the music between scenes, particularly in Act I, but throughout the play it didn't always feel tonally right and sometimes broke up the action when I think the cross-scene transitions in that play should be smooth and quick.
    I honestly didn't even notice the music, sometimes the sets did slow things down. I was talking to a colleague who saw part one this week, but is yet to see part two and it made me think in the set design they sort of capture the differences in the two plays: that in the 90s part one was staged before they knew what part two would be.

    What I wasn't so thrilled with was the angel

    so that's me being really picky!

    I see they are thinking about taking the NT show to NY - cool!

    http://nypost.com/2017/05/25/is-grou...al-in-trouble/

  3. #498
    it's a long long climb Kari's Avatar
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    Ahhhhh I hope it does! I wasn't able to catch the NT Live screening so I really hope they do.

  4. #499
    Senior Member Andyland's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kari View Post
    Ahhhhh I hope it does! I wasn't able to catch the NT Live screening so I really hope they do.
    There are encore screenings in August

  5. #500
    Senior Member thestrand's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nathan zephyrus View Post

    What I wasn't so thrilled with was the angel

    so that's me being really picky!
    I would agree with that.



    This all reminds me of Sarah Kane's plays...I really love reading her plays but I've never seen a live production of one, and several have some quite intense and surrealistic staging. Have any of you seen her work performed? Is it as effective and visceral as it is on the page?

  6. #501
    it's a long long climb Kari's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by thestrand View Post

    This all reminds me of Sarah Kane's plays...I really love reading her plays but I've never seen a live production of one, and several have some quite intense and surrealistic staging. Have any of you seen her work performed? Is it as effective and visceral as it is on the page?
    I saw a production of 4:48 Psychosis at St. Ann's Warehouse in Brooklyn. I can confidently say it was one of my top 20 favorite evenings of theater. I am still haunted by it.

  7. #502
    Senior Member thestrand's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kari View Post
    I saw a production of 4:48 Psychosis at St. Ann's Warehouse in Brooklyn. I can confidently say it was one of my top 20 favorite evenings of theater. I am still haunted by it.
    That's quite a review. I hope to see some of her work someday. There is obviously much to say about her, both her genius and the mental health problems/tragic end, but she wrote some truly original and amazing plays.

  8. #503
    it's a long long climb Kari's Avatar
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    In her short time, she became one of the most important dramatists of the past 40 years. I wrote a paper about her and Edward Bond in grad school. Her work is staggering, and it's truly sad we never got to see her realize her full potential as an essential artist.

  9. #504
    Senior Member thestrand's Avatar
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    Kari - I had never heard of Bond before. Thank you! I have plenty to read and learn about now! He certainly seems like an interesting guy! Any recommendations on where to start with his work?


    Saw Perestroika last night. Some of my opinions have completely flipped from Millennium Approaches...


    Denise Gough? Fantastic. She played the second half of Harper's journey so beautifully.

    Andrew Garfield... I lost it with him. What was engaging and beautiful about his performance in MA became overdone and one-note in Perestroika.He got it back by the very very end (by which I mean, the final scene) But I really think he had trouble knowing how else to play Prior's new conflicts as a prophet and victim. Luckily, the fantastic script carried him through some otherwise tough scenes, acting-wise.

    The angel's physicality was fantastically gorgeous and sensual! I still think MA should have ended with her actually flying above the stage (we know they could do it, after all, she does fly at one point in Perestroika.)

    One thing I didn't comment on with MA was the use of neon and the sets. I liked the way they took visual ideas that were simple in MA and sorta blew them up/expanded them in Perestroika.

    One of the issues with Perestroika is always the length and pacing. They did an admirable job keeping it moving.

    Overall, this was a great two evenings of theatre. Not necessarily my favorite production of AiA, but still really lovely and worth seeing.

  10. #505
    it's a long long climb Kari's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by thestrand View Post
    Kari - I had never heard of Bond before. Thank you! I have plenty to read and learn about now! He certainly seems like an interesting guy! Any recommendations on where to start with his work?
    I would start with SAVED, which is his most well known work.

  11. #506
    Also saw Perestroika last night! I agree about Andrew Garfield. He was excellent overall, but his performance in Perestroika got a bit...histrionic. I actually kind of felt like the cast was doing a lot of screaming at each other instead of emoting in this part, at least in certain scenes.

    Love love love LOVED Denise Gough as Harper, once again.

    This is my first time seeing AiA staged, and Perestroika is...long. Really long. Some amazing scenes! But really, reallllllly long. And they apparently cut a whole scene with Roy Cohn talking to God or something?
    "See everything as an illusion, and enjoy it even though you are not of it."
    ~Alanis Morissette, paraphrased

  12. #507
    Lyrical acuity and mum-smarts menju56's Avatar
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    I saw Angels in America too and oh my god I thought it was absolutely amazing.

  13. #508
    'If you existed, I'd divorce you.' spyk_'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Markness View Post
    This is my first time seeing AiA staged, and Perestroika is...long. Really long. Some amazing scenes! But really, reallllllly long. And they apparently cut a whole scene with Roy Cohn talking to God or something?
    There are a couple of optional scenes in Perestroika, and one of them is a short scene of Roy Cohn in hell offering assistance to an unseen force, probably Satan or something like that. You could pretty much pluck that monologue out of the play and put it in Donald Trump's mouth and it would suit perfectly. Cohn was Trump's mentor so I suppose that sort of figures. Watching the restaurant scene between Joe and Roy and Roy's flunky is so depressing - you realise with horror that the society they're envisioning has pretty much come true.

  14. #509
    'If you existed, I'd divorce you.' spyk_'s Avatar
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    I've seen a lot of theatre recently that I'd like to write about, but I'll wait until I have a chance to put some thought into it.

    In the meantime, I've just booked for next year's London revival of Company featuring Rosalie Craig as a gender-flipped Bobby and OMFGPATTILUPONE as Joanne as well as Heisenberg: The Uncertainty Principle, a new play by Simon Stephens. Both are produced by Elliott Harper Productions, a new company set up by producer Chris Harper and director Marianne Elliott. I was looking at their website to see what they were about, when I stumbled on this in their 'about' section:

    In March 2018, Elliott & Harper will co-produce the Broadway transfer of The National Theatre’s production of Tony Kushner’s Angels in America directed by Marianne.
    Were any of you New York based theatre people aware of this? @Kari? I didn't think anything had been announced yet. I just thought I'd let y'all know in case you want to start saving coin for those tickets.

  15. #510
    it's a long long climb Kari's Avatar
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    Yes! That news dropped a week or two ago. I AM VERY EXCITED.

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