Saturday, October 21, 2006

Dora’s Box

Tabuki Theatre
October 21, 2006; closes November 4, 2006

For longest while, I thought seemingly non-sequiter, overly-mimed scattershot show needed major dose of Ritalin; then I understood how script style perhaps serves point. Unfortunately, by time Katie O’Grady’s best efforts reached interpretive abortions of “womb monologues,” I was beyond any real connection, understanding, compassion. Vivid soundtrack from Andrew Bray.

20 comments:

Terri said...

So it didn't work for Followspot. No surprise. Who else saw this new show from this new company? What did you think?

(and speaking of new companies, there sure is a new crop of 'em this year, eh? it will be interesting to see what they do and where they go).

Anonymous said...

Deathly curious to know what the "no surprise" comment about followspot is implying.

Anonymous said...

What I would find surprising is if this script worked for anyone.

I felt bad for the actor.

I thought it was a shallow take on suburban women and it didn't introduce anything new except in being completly uninteligible. It made no sense.

Is the director in hiding or was there really no director? not that even a really talented one could have saved this show.

Anonymous said...

the playwright directed her own work -- see the third story in: http://www.justout.com/bulletin_board.aspx, from the current issue of Just Out.

I don't know why the Oregonian review says a director wasn't credited -- it was right in the program.

Anonymous said...

there is no reason, whatsoever, to take a personal stab at anyone in this blog. we should be here to discuss, as a community, what is going on with each other's shows. good for Tabuki for having the balls to put on a piece of theater. most anonymous postings I like to accredit to bitter actors that are so busy not doing their own work that all they can do is criticize other's. if it doesn't work for you, fine. not every play is for every person, but either own up to your criticism or constructively criticize the shows out there so that we can support each other and grow as a community as opposed to suffocating each other in this small town.

Anonymous said...

So now would be a bad time to ask you to capitalize the beginning of sentences?

I don't know what more you want from "it was a shallow take on suburban women and it didn't introduce anything new" to make it more critical. More verbose, perhaps? I, personally, like the no BS reviews; the fact that something didn't work for someone is enough for me. I don't always need someone to spell out WHY they didn't like something. Theatre is like food, and some theatre is cooked spinach. And some is angel food cake.

Neal said...

I like spinach.

Anonymous said...

However it is true that most folks who spend their time here criticizing others are simply afraid to take their own risks...or just plain not talented enough to procure work they themsleves don't produce:)

Anonymous said...

Yes, but who needs good entertainment or meaningful art more than us poor poor untalented frightened unprocuring masses...

Anonymous said...

I don't understand the usage of "procure" here -- can the Anonymous poster explain what he/she m eant by that?

Just curious...

Anonymous said...

Anonymous was trying to use fancytalk for "no one will hire you."

uncapitalized in PDX said...

when i said we should be more constuctive in our criticism, and this is purely under the assumption that less than 90% of the people that read this are in some way involved in portland theater, this is what I meant:

how do we expect each other to grow as a community of artists while consistently chopping each other down to try to make room for ourselves in this tiny forest of portland theater?

let the critics of the papers mindlessly and shallowly critique our art. it's what they get paid to do. and to get back to this phrase which obviously merits an award of some type , because it was brought up once before:

"I thought it was a shallow take on suburban women and it didn't introduce anything new except in being completly uninteligible. It made no sense."

I ask:
Why didn't it make sense?
Why was it shallow?

it would be great to turn this blog into a place for discussing ideas (what things in a show work and why - what doesn't and why; in turn learning from others accomplishments and mistakes), as opposed to a place where people can vent their out-of-work, underpaid frustration out on those who are taking risks and pursuing thier goals.

also, in response to, "So now would be a bad time to ask you to capitalize the beginning of sentences?"

well, no, it's fine, but would you mind spellchecking the word 'uninteligible' for me while you're at it?

uncapitalized in pdx said...

in my first sentence, i meant over 90% of the people who use this are more than likely involved in portland theater

Anonymous said...

By using the word procure...anonymous wasn't "trying" to use fancy talk for "no one will hire you"... He/She in fact "used" fancy talk (if procure is too big a word for you) to make his/her point. It is a correct and fine use of the word in this context.

Anonymous said...

Good Lord Kitties. Meow. Now, I think it is reasonable, helpful and important to look at each others work critically. We should challenge each other to strive towards art. If we just keep patting each other on the back we will inadvertantly only encourage mediocraty. That being said a useful criticism is not just a rant, an attack or an "ewww I dont like it". Be specific. Yes this is a challlenging piece for a director to make work but so what? It was an experiment, it was striving towards art and for many it failed. Lets stay focused on the specifics of why things worked or didnt. If we are going to create art, a play that has intese or lasting impact we must give each other permission to explore and to fail. Photographers take on avereage 185 photos to get 2-3 that will "work". Out of the ones that "work" it can take a life time to find the ones that resonate as great "art". If we cattily tear each other down or conversely offer hollow congratulations how will we ever be comfortable enough or knowlegeable enough to take the risk of failure needed to achieve great art?

Anonymous said...

"However it is true that most folks who spend their time here criticizing others are simply afraid to take their own risks...or just plain not talented enough to procure work they themsleves don't produce:)"

That’s absurd. And even if it were true, I wonder how you would know that.

People like to do their thing as well as talk about your thing. People like to see theater as well as talk about theater. The two can’t be separated. Theater is by definition a WE experience. Without critical discussion, theater is incomplete. It’s a unique art form because it is a shared experience – you are there watching, experiencing, bearing witness together as a group. It does not end when the lights go on. It ends when you spill out of the bar four hours later after a long drawn out discussion about what you saw. The passionate arguing and debating is part of the experience. This is why good criticism is so important.

The idea that discussion about theater somehow indicates people are not involved or are not talented is ridiculous. This is essentially the “love it or leave it” logic. Got a critical thought? Take it somewhere else, citizen! You nattering nabob types…

This sounds like the same old argument we have had on here several times about the issue of anonymous posting. People say they object to anonymous posting. What they really object to is anonymous NEGATIVE posting. We've yet to see an anonymous rave followed by angry demands to come forth and sign your name.

Anonymous said...

Some artists are simply unreceptive to criticism, regardless of content or intent. As much as viewers should attempt to keep their comments constructive, some simply want to say "i didn't like it," and you know what? That's okay. People are allowed to feel that way, and people are allowed to say that, especially here. As an artist one must rise above the impulse to react out of wounded pride. If criticism is not useful to you, ignore it. It wasn't meant for you, it was meant for people who felt the same. Don't waste your time and energy defending yourself, or attacking, people you consider inferior. Use your time and energy for your art, lest you be thought a hypocrite.

Anonymous said...

I haven't seen the show under discussion, and I probably won't be able to given my schedule. That said, I just wanted to add that any theater willing to take a chance of premiering new plays should be given some credit because it's a risky undertaking, both artistically and financially. So props for that. And that goes for theaters big and small.

Anonymous said...

I disagree strongly with the assumptions that:

-People who post critically should own up to their criticism, and that people who post anonymously are bitter people who are frustrated because they're not working. I am constantly working, and I will never post my name if I am critical of a show. I want to be able to honestly express my opinion about a show, but there may have been people involved in it that I want to work with in the future. May seem two-faced, but here's my reasoning: I find this blog valuable to gauge what people thought about a show they saw. I don't need to know who posted it. And if everyone did post under their name, I wouldn't read this blog, because it would be considerably watered down and guarded.

Anonymous said...

What were "womb monologues"?