Saturday, September 16, 2006

Secondhand Smoke

defunkt theatre
September 15, 2006; closes October 14, 2006

Wellman’s back — huffing, puffing, more confounding than ever. There’s abstraction I get; abstraction I don’t, but enjoy; impenetrable abstraction that’s alienating — and Smoke encircles all three. Interesting is how/what value gets shared through such unexplained, un-understood experience. Time’ll tell if/when this nags my memory like first two Crowtet parts have.

13 comments:

Camille said...

Go see this show! Secondhand Smoke encapsulates so much of what makes great theatre - the embodiment of complex and beautiful (bizarre and strange) text and movement, inventiveness that comes from the gut and is simultaneously whimsical and disturbing, humor, heartbreak, absurdity...thank you defunkt and everyone involved for a GREAT show!

CT said...

A fascinating study. Really unlike what anyone else in Portland does. Cheers for defunkt.

Anonymous said...

Fascinating. I am so impressed with defunkt. This is rugged, risky adventuring of the best kind.

Very different from most theatre in town.

Worth the effort to try out a different way of seeing.

For anyone tired of sitcom style hyper realism on stage - this show is for you!

Anonymous said...

This is not easy theatre, but it's not meant to be. Go for the challenge. Defunkt does.

Anonymous said...

Not to start a big donnybrook, but is it possible that the Mercury's review of this show could be any more, how shall we say, stupid?

I mean, my God, the guy admits he has to look up the meaning of avant garde and then spends the rest of the review telling us how the show isn't good avant garde when it's absolutely clear that he neither understands defunkt nor Welmann. *sproing!* Sound of frying pan smacking hollow cranium.

I'm just sayin'...the Merc's got a couple decent reviewers, but this guy is...rather a dull off-yellow in a technicolor world. Phil can do better than that.

Anonymous said...

Donnybrook #1: I thought it was the best written, most spot-on review I've read in a local rag in months. He took this kind of self-righteous work to the mat in an accurate and entertaining way. Bravo, I say! Bravo!

Anonymous said...

The ol' "didn't understand" dismissal. Boo hoo.

Harlan said...

I haven't seen this particular show yet, but I have to say I agreed with Followspot about the previous Mac Wellman shows they did. A little befuddled and even annoyed at the time of watching, but found that the experience stuck with me and continued to grow long after. Again, haven't seen the latest one yet. I would even go so far as to say that, a couple of weeks after each production, my only remaining complaints seemed to be uneven acting.

Anonymous said...

Sorry, but I just think that particular reviewer is a middlebrow dumbass. Sometimes there's no other way to put it.

Anonymous said...

The point of reviewing a show just before it closes is lost on me, especially if the reviewer has nothing to say beyond "I didn't like it." The review made no attempt to understand the piece, no comment on the success (or lack thereof) of the production, and was written with no understanding of the author or the company's prior work. Uneducated criticism is of no use to anyone.

Anonymous said...

Hold on, there. The review didn't run "just before the show closes." It had at least half a dozen performances to go, and so many shows never get reviewed at all that something is better than nothing . . . usually. In this case, that may be highly debatable, but I'm sure many shows would love to get reviewed with as many performances as "Secondhand Smoke" had/has when the Mercury ran its piece. I question your point about the timing, only; not the content.

Anonymous said...

Maybe the Merc was actually to them a favor by holding it back a week?

Anonymous said...

the worst show I have ever seen....not faulting actors who put on a valient effort.......ma terial was pretentious and obnoxious.