Photo by Don Kellogg

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Hand to God

By my calculations this is the 5th worst play I've ever seen... And I've seen a LOT of plays.  Trust me.  What makes this the 5th worst and not the 3rd worst is the fact that #1,  I stayed past intermission (i considered leaving, yes) and #2, the tremendous talent of one single cast member.

This was probably the most childish, immature, and infantile play I have seen that ever graced a Broadway stage.  It seems to appeal to the kids (the ones that have enough money to afford a ticket, that is) that like to laugh at mean jokes and cheap lines about bad situations.  Throw in plenty of "fucks" and I guess you have a Williamsburg hipster hit (until the 500 of them who can afford tickets are all cycled through anyway).

Why didn't I leave at intermission?  One simple answer - Steven Boyer.  His subtle and nuanced performance against his diametrically opposite sock puppet was outstanding.  He has not only mastered the art of puppetry, but he has mastered a 2 person dialogue all within himself!  His timing, facial expressions, puppet movement, and general skit-zo attitude on stage provided the much needed relief from the actual material of Robert Askins' awful new American play.

Were it not for Mr. Boyer, my evening would have ended after 60 minutes.  Because of him, I did get to see the other 60 and digest Mr. Askins' point of view about religion, society, good, and evil.  I get it, Mr. Atkins.  I actually don't disagree with the theory that evil and good were invented to "keep the masses in line" and that perhaps there is some truth to the idea that we were better off in some ways when we are all alone instead of bound together in society and groups. Food for thought yes.  But the material you chose to present on stage was a crude and crass way of getting your point across.