Friday, October 20, 2006

An American Daughter

Profile Theatre
October 19, 2006; closes November 12, 2006

Production strains under this C-SPAN script that’s not only pedantic, but frustratingly baffling, given title character’s inaction, ultimate withdrawal from fight for dream job over seemingly small potatoes. What’s underneath acquiescence potentially more interesting than circumstances if not buried in bland, self-concerned beltway burbling only public-policy wonks would deem dramatic.

14 comments:

Anonymous said...

A fabulous show with a wonderful cast...even after her death Wasserstein is hampered by the very double standards she so deftly wrote about.

Anonymous said...

The audience I was with on Friday night laughed loud and often and cried...so did I. The cast was given a well deserved standing ovation.

Anonymous said...

"...even after her death..."

Um, since when did we stop being critical after someone dies? I take back everything I said about Shakespeare!

David Loftus said...

Ehmm . . . maybe Anonymous 1 meant not so much that Wasserstein "deserves" to be treated more kindly now that she's dead, but that general prejudices and biases have not changed since she first did battle with them years ago. I have no opinion on the matter, just putting in a possible word for clarity.

Anonymous said...

Superbly acted. The production values do more to sabotage the fine performances than enhance, still inspite of that I couldn't help but be drawn in by the actors.

Anonymous said...

I agree with the person above. Some of the finest acting happening right now in Portland. If the production values matched the level of the performances this show could've been brilliant as opposed to really really good.

Anonymous said...

Isn't it fascinating how different opinions can be? I haven't seen this show, but I have recently had completely opposite opinions on other shows from friends and reviews. It can be very puzzling!

Someone will love something, I'll hate it. I'll think something is amazing, others will dismiss as junk.

It's truly humbling to remember how different our responses can be. We don't all have to think the same thing. In fact - it's impossible.

But isn't it interesting how two people can see the same thing and have opposite responses!

Anonymous said...

This thread is certainly more civil than the giant one going on currently even if it is little boring.

Anonymous said...

Wow. I saw the sunday matinee today. All I can say is riveting. Truly exceptional. They have extended their performances thru the 18th of November. If you can get a ticket I highly reccomend it.

Anonymous said...

This material is so insipid and shallow, it's hard to imagine any cast succeeding with it. Very tedious. This felt like a stage adaptation of a bad sitcom.

How does Wasserstein get a pass on this stuff? Do we just let down our critical thinking skills because she was a nice person, believed in our causes, etc.?

What about the criteria: "Is it any good?" This play has the shelf life of day old sushi. Feels dated to an embarrassing degree, though with the extreme cliches, stereotypes and corny jokes, it's hard to believe it ever really clicked on stage. This is vaudeville without the laughs.

The problem with these supposed critiques of injustice set among the elite (inevitably everyone went to Harvard, Princeton, and Yale) is that when you step back a bit the writer just sounds like a carping whiner. This is frivolity and irrelevance writ large. It's inconsequent chattering mistaken for substance.

To someone not familiar with these airy realms of privilege, does this read like a critique, or come off as a parlor game for the rich and famous, where people hump and frump about their "problems". But at the end of the day, are there really any problems here, to the ordinary person?

How, exactly, did the character Dent take any risks or work for any goal larger than her own hollow self-advancement amidst a name brand world of title and achievement?

Constant backstage bumping and thumping added to pronounced amateur feel of night.

Anonymous said...

And yet, they added a weekend...

Anonymous said...

My sense on shows like this is that interest groups play a big part in turning people out.

This is totally separate from the issue of whether the show is any good.

Anonymous said...

Your self-important ramblings simply accentuate your egocentric inability to connect with reality...I suppose it would have been better were they "street people with drug problems and stunted vocabularies".... Alas we can't all be as deep as those of you who espouse your profundity on this oh so relevent blog.

Anonymous said...

thought the show fabulous. Some actors better than others.......but totally enjoyable...playwright told a story........