Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Sonia Flew

Miracle Theatre
Posted by Frenchglen February 2, 2007; closes February 24, 2007

Several uneven performances prevent this ambitious story from truly taking flight. Start and stop American living room realism of Act I yields to deeper, more continuous emotions in Cuban second half. Sudden plot turns, reveals, and time travel occasionally distract. John San Nicolas and Courtney Davis provide needed energy, presence.

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

Too true without Mr. San Nicolas and Ms. Davis. There would be no reason to even watch. Performances were terribly awkward and the direction was meandering and un-focused...not to mention indulgent. I never felt like the audience was the reason for the evening...

gt said...

Do tell, how can direction be indulgent?

Anonymous said...

Vertigo's "Love of the Nightingale" is a good example of indulgent direction.

Anonymous said...

But how so? Can you elaborate?

Dan said...

For me, direction can be indulgent in many ways, but I think on a general level it's when you let a style/genre, staging technique, concept, or some kind of theatrical element overshadow telling the actual story. What makes it truly indulgent is taking it a step beyond that and relishing in it throughout the course of the production. Let me just state for the record, I have not seen Sonia Flew, so I am not using the show as a catalyst for my personal definition of indulgent. But since someone asked in this thread, I was inclined to "indulge" in the discourse...

I think my graduate thesis production of Taming of the Shrew at the University of Portland was the epitome of indulgent. I bathed the play in concept to such an extent that it muddled the telling of the story. There were a couple of important statements I was trying to make on the current state of marriage and the umbrage I take with "sanctity" in this age of instant gratification. But the message, though apparent in the text, was clouded by an unfocused overflow of concept-driven circumstances versus the circumstances inherent in the text. I let my approach supercede Shakespeare's words. HUGE MISTAKE! It was highly indulgent, and to me a failure in terms of exploring the questions I had originally set out to ask. I failed to tell the story of the text because I was too focused on telling the story of my concept. What an awesome learning experiece, though!

In short, losing grasp of the text is an easy trap to fall into when you find yourself indulging in the practice of magic rather than being a storyteller.

Anonymous said...

Well said. What I meant by indulgent is precisely stated in Dan's comment. It also means, to me, that the director is more impressed with themsleves and how clever they are as opposed to remembering why we do theatre---as a practioner I believe the audience is THE MOST important aspect of what we do---and as an audience member I expect to be treated as such.

Anonymous said...

These are all interesting comments and no doubt this does happen, but I don't think any of this applies to SONIA FLEW.

Do you?

gt said...

Anon 2/08/2007 & Anon 2/13/2007 (presumably the same person). Now you've told us (by proxy) what you mean by indulgent direction. Please tell us, point by point, how the direction of Sonia Flew is indulgent...