Photo by Don Kellogg

Thursday, November 1, 2012

If There Is I Haven't Found It Yet

Pretty much a 'Debbie Downer' over at Roundabout's Laura Pels.  I spent a lot of time trying to figure out who was related to whom and why we were all here.  As the vague plot unfolds (painfully slow) details, possibly on purpose, seem to be omitted.  I am pretty sure that was Playwright, Nick Payne's intention. Indeed it added a sense of despair to an already bewildering and depressing statement presented about one family's failed attempts at... well... family.

Jake Gyllenhaal (Terry) takes a stand out lead in this otherwise lackluster production.  Brian F. O'Byrne (George) has a more minor character but clearly does his part to mire the family down.

Director, Michael Longhurst, takes a big risk by immersing the play in water - overhead, and on-stage.  I doubt Mr. Longhurst could foretell the impending storm called Sandy, but in retrospect, his staging has an eerily dual impacts.

Although the concepts were seemingly well integrated with the staging - as disturbing as throwing the set pieces in the moat when they were done with them - I left the theatre with mixed feelings - - slightly satisfied at the overall staging and presentation but mostly disappointed at the pace and sense of vague-ness.

I say slightly because at some level, this work is a visceral, raw, and powerful attempt at telling an honest, deeply disturbing, and sadly quite common state of the family today.  I'm trying not to confuse that sadness with the pace and presentation itself.  That balance can be hard to identify and recon with.  

... I haven't found it yet either.