Wednesday, December 06, 2006

This Wonderful Life

Portland Center Stage
Posted by Followspot December 5, 2006; closes December 24, 2006

Yawn. Newbie’s quite affable (though a bit less committed to Setlock’s parlor game, which’s all that made it interesting last season), and nothing “wrong” with production except that nagging question one must ask oneself: Why? What does this do other than make one want to watch the original, how-more-perfect-can-it-get movie?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I quite agree. Lovely set design, earnest performance. But why? Almost everything that worked best was straight from the movie; one was reminded of how skillfully the original was plotted, how much terrific dialogue it had. Audience laughed appreciably at the post-modern, self-conscious elements and pop references, but they were self-justifying, not really germane to the story. On the one hand, the place was sold out and there were many tears at the climax (mine included), but I also noticed there was no automatic Portland standing O. What to make of a play whose emotional impact depends largely on one's personal memories of another, older cultural icon? Sort of on a slightly higher plane than, but little different from that spate of Baby Boomer live-action films about the Addams Family and the Flintstones. I couldn't give a fig about Christmas, in reality or as a plot device for this show, but it's a helluva great existential story, nevertheless.