Saturday, August 26, 2006

Valparaiso

Theatre Vertigo
August 26, 2006; closes September 23, 2006

Vertigo maintains edge by choosing smartly-structured outward commentary on media consumerism but travesty hinges on desperate man’s inner journey, here left somewhat curtailed. Sublime: Gary Norman simultaneously understated/over-the-top; chilling airlinistas deftly choreographed; Rory Stitt’s provocative sound. Interesting: how to isolate, extract queasy, internal character from blaring surrounds. Further A/V integration?

6 comments:

Oprah said...

OK, so the critical response has been generally positive ... so where are comments from those who have seen the show? Anyone? Bueller?

Anonymous said...

I liked it. This is a challenging and adventuresome pick for TV.

Act 2 with Gary Norman and Ritah Parrish really hums. Norman looks totally bizarre in his hair and makeup! I could not recognize him. Some very funny stuff.

Many elements of this production LOOK great, from the team tag stewardi (oh behave) to the interview crew, to the image of a lonely suburban housewife pumping away on an exercise bike in front of the tube, smoking a cig.

Some of the repetitive aural qualities reminded me of DR. FAUSTUS LIGHTS THE LIGHTS. Those lines sink in...

Does anyone else ever detect a weird undercurrent of misanthropy and/or bizarre sexual attitudes bubbling not far beneath the surface of DeLillo's work? It feels a little cranky at times.

My only criticisms here would deal with the play itself. While many of Delillo's observations about the media-obsessed maelstrom of five minute fame may be true, they are not new or particularly insightful.

Overall an enjoyable evening and well worth the trip.

Ben Waterhouse said...

As I said in my review, I thought TV did a great job making a good show out of what struck me as a stinker of a script. Delillo can't get away from his own pervy obsessions long enough to really make the play transcend.

But the acting? Great! Design? Very nice! Direction? Fine!

Overall, a very fine production from a very fine company.

Will said...

Even when he's just thumbing a magazine in the background, Gary Norman speaks volumes.

This is an interesting show; go see it.

Mamma said...

Last chance, boys and girls ...

Anonymous said...

This show, as art, didn't work for me. Perhaps a little as entertainment, but it never invited you to empathize with the characters. The character of Michael is vapid and fame-hungry from the start, without any indication of why he needed the attention so badly, what void he was trying to fill. You don't get to watch him transformed from someone eager to TELL HIS STORY, to be heard, to be really understood, into someone for whom his story is something memorized and mindless, a way to stay in the life-giving spotlight. The script seems to suggest that he starts out as someone who wants to make a human connection, who has to be continually reminded to look at the camera, to someone who only cares about the camera or the microphone. But, in this production, we have no sympathy for him when he is destroyed on national television because he has never been anything more than a shallow fast-talker whose only concern was air-time.

Ritah Parrish totally knocked my socks off. She managed to make the broadest, most cartoonishly written character in the play the most human.