Photo by Don Kellogg

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

The Flick

What a dichotomy of emotions this play elicited.  Superb acting and what I suspect is superb direction in what just might be the most self-indulgent, childish, selfish play I've ever paid money to see.

So poorly written and conceived is The Flick that it was a unanimous decision of my two other stalwart heater-going friends (and many others) to leave after the painfully show and entirely uneventful 1h:40m first act (with another 1h yet to go in act two).

Matthew Maher (Sam), Aaron Clifton Moten (Avery), and Louisa Krasuse (Rose) played their characters with aplomb.  In fact, some of their acting was some of the best I've seen.  The problem here is not the acting - it's the utterly meaningless, immature, and senseless writing.  More specifically the pace and the repeated tone of hesitation and the pauses so pregnant an emergency c-section would normally be called for.   The playwright, Annie Baker, should not have been allowed within 1000 feet of a stage with even a draft of this one.  

As bad as the writing was, the concept of turning the stage into a movie theatre complete with a working film projector was brilliant.  Such a shame the high-brow concept was abused in parallel to the low-brow dialogue.  The opening scene, as I look back, set the tone for the entire play - a movie playing back to the audience in the projector with an orchestral score.  It went on... and on.... and on.... (queue much nervous laughter and the beginning of a never-ending sense of "get on with it already").

I get her point (which could have been made in about 27 minutes) and I honestly have absolutely no care or desire to know what became of her characters (even the one we hadn't yet met) in act 2.  It was that bad.