Photo by Don Kellogg

Friday, October 7, 2005

A Naked Girl on the Appian Way

Goodie-two-shoes, be warned. Subject matter not for narrow-minded conservatives. However, for all you bleeding-heart lberals out there - don't be running down the block to get your tickets either! While I enjoyed many a laughs, the play didn't seem to come alive. The actors all felt like they were... well... "acting" - as opposed to "interacting". Many a one-liner, but it often felt like they were reading the lines - waitng for the laughs - then moving on to the next.

I don't think you could have written a story about a more dysfunctional family with so many social taboos to be revealed over the course of 100 minutes (can you say "sit-com"?). Richard Thomas, as the father, seems to have predictably brought an adult John Boy Walton to the stage - the brilliant, talented, liberal, stuck-to-his-convictions writer. The only difference here is that he is successful and lives in a large house in the Hamptons! Jill Clayburgh, the mother, is the neurotic, at times overbearing and in-denial mother who certainly got plenty of laughs. The 3 adopted children - a neurotic, bi-sexual, Korean librarian in the suburbs, a WASP-y (and gorgeous) dumb jock (Matthew Morrison - "Light in the Piazza"), and an intelligent, educated, well spoken Dominican girl - all in their 20's - all completely different- seemed to complete the very mis-shapen circle known as the Lapin Family!

The actors, much like the family and the two off-beat neighbors - were stiff and uncomfortable in their own shoes. Was that a purposeful instruction from the director (Doug Hughs) to cause you to draw that parallel - or just bad ensemble acting? Through the periodic laughter - I'll leave that decision to you.

** Now - I really didn't read Ben Brantley's review (much more elloquent than mine) before I published this - - but I thought you might like to read what a true professional actually published just yestarday!!