Photo by Don Kellogg

Wednesday, March 11, 2015


Perhaps the only downside to writing and directing a play is that you don't get enough valuable feedback.  When Doug Wright penned this gem, he should have turned the direction over to someone else - to get that independent perspective - to achieve even greater greatness.  Instead what we ended up with is a play that is a bit too long and a bit over-played by the actors.  Indeed it has a great story - two artists engaged in a debate over  their legacy, what will they be remembered for.  In the case of one - art took precedence over family.  In the other, poverty, obscurity and principles seem to rule the day over actually doing work and getting paid.

Despite this - we find these two artists engaged in a battle of wills.  Who will succeed?  What will happen in the end?  I will give away nothing except to say that both actors give astonishingly brilliant performances.  It's a based on real people and real art so it's both educational and entertaining at the same time.

The ever-dashing Hamish Linklater (Gustav Vigeland) plays the young budding sculptor and the great John Noble (Henrik Ibsen) plays the world famous literary genius with aplomb.

The language in this play is smart.  Very smart.  Very intellectual.  Lofty, some might say.  The level of language was maintained throughout, but the effect was occasional drift and loss of content as you were trying to figure out what they were saying/meaning.  If nothing else, one could simply say this is a smart man's play.  If you're not, maybe think twice before going but at the prices at the Atlantic, think hard because seeing actors this fine for such a price is well worth it.