No Man’s Land @ the A.R.T.

The only thing the current ART production has going for it is a pretty good performance by Max Wright as Spponer, and that Paul Benedict is in it. It didn’t do much to change my opinion of Pinter as a third-rate playwright. It’s like watching something written by someone who’s trying to copy a Beckett play who’s only read reviews of Beckett plays, with a great big plate of pretense to start. There were two nice touches in the A.R.T. production: the very nice stage sunlight that streams through the window in one scene, and the way that a little mist cloud could be seen when bottles of champagne were opened.

And thus ends our subscription. After how disappointing this season was, I don’t think we’ll be subscribing again next year. Some people have framed the departure of the artistic director as a conflict between “the bottom line” and artistic integrity. But this is just silly. Woodruff sucked. His idea of being edgy consisted of sticking an electric guitar in someone’s hands (Orpheus, Britannicus) and sticking an “x” at the end of the title. At The Onion Cellar, they handed out a marketing survey. Did Peter Brook hand out marketing surveys?

Sealing the deal, next season, they’re doing a stage production of Donnie Darko. Donnie fucking Darko. Remind me to rant about how bad Donnie Darko is sometime. Considering how they slaughtered a good movie earlier this year, I want no part of this.

(Cranky cranky cranky. Sorry, it’s hot outside!)

Anyway, the upside is that next year, maybe we’ll try to take in some less overblown, more indie theater productions.

4 thoughts on “No Man’s Land @ the A.R.T.”

  1. - Pinter might be a second rate playwright but third-rate? Oh there’s far worse stuff out there.
    - Don’t know about this Woodruff fellow not having seen any of his work but whenever I see rock and roll/ hip-hop/ etc. shoehorned into classical theater I immediately cringe. In theory it could work. But it so rarely does.
    - “Did Peter Brook hand out marketing surveys?”
    When I saw The Man Who at BAM many years ago there was a survey inserted into each program. I’m pretty sure it was BAM’s survey not Brooks’ but still…
    - I enjoyed Donnie Darko but I’m told the Director’s Cut is pretty awful. Apparantly it “explains” everything thus removing any ambiguity and catering to audiences that need stuff spoonfed to them. That was a bad idea. A stage version is an even worse idea.

  2. You were the one who told me I had to see Donnie Darko, and I was the one who said it wasn’t all that it’s cracked up to be. Now you’re saying it’s bad? ‘Fess up to the wifely influence, bucko.

  3. I will fess up that I did like it the first time.

    I don’t know if it was “wifely influence” or just watching it twice that ruined it. Actually, before I watched it with you, I watched the DVD extras, which included the deleted scenes that helped explain everything, and I think that might have ruined it.

    I’m sure your influence helped push me over the edge, though.

    As is my wont, I was also probably exaggerating my current dislike for it.

    And I probably wouldn’t dislike it so much if I didn’t like it so much.

  4. OK, there is certainly worse stuff out there. And there are worse playwrights. But few who are so bad and have won a Nobel prize.

    So to be more precise, what I meant by “third-rate” was “drastically overrated”.

    And possibly “not worth the time it takes to watch”.

Comments are closed.