Thursday, January 31, 2008

Clean House




Artists Repertory Theatre
January 22 - March 2, 2008

DUELING REVIEW

Reviewed by peanutduck:

Ruhl subverts expectations to affect without sentimentalism. Cool, controlled, geometric home of clinical dispassion contrasts well with lush, messily passionate sea-view veranda (though latter placed in neck-cramp-invoking area of theatre). Villazan endearing, if slightly too subdued, in quest for perfect joke. Distractions: production feels dishonest; casting Janke for Brazilian/Argentinean bothersome.

Reviewed by followspot:

Villazan is good in the lead role, but Marilyn Stacy steals the show as the cleaning-obsessed Virginia. Coromel disappointingly unbelievable. Janke fine, but why not cast someone who looks less....American? Creative use of space was a joy. 20 minute intermission after only 40 minutes of theatre seems slighly silly.

8 comments:

syria said...

Good script could have supported more complicated presentation. Especially at end, actors had only one note. They're sad or happy according to the needs of the script, like the ice cream kumbaya moment. It always felt like actors acting--real people are more nuanced.

Anonymous said...

It was ok. I wasn't impressed with the young lady-she was incredibly flat and not very funny at all-she's supposed to be funny. The play is better than this production was able to achieve.

Brklyn said...

I disagree with the other posters. I LOVED the show. i thought it was well cast and a very clean show. (yes, yes, pun intended). Perhaps it spoke to my female sappiness at times, and i chose to ride the wave of sentimentality and female bonding.

yolanda said...

I thought Amaya (the young lady)had a believeable, grounded performance. Congratulations, young lady!

Anonymous said...

I really enjoyed this performance but felt the director really missed the whole concept of "magical realism" - the whole play should have been a bit kooky. Also, what is up with scenes behind the audience?! Horrible set design choice. I had a horrible crick in my neck afterwards trying to see what was going one. Great casting though - loved everyone though felt I would have liked to see more character development from the female doctor. Shelly Lipkin & Amaya just rocked the house. He is so tacky and funny and Amaya just glowed. I would definitely recommend it - though like I said, watch your neck in Act II!!! Oh, and beautiful music from Rody Ortega!!!

Anonymous said...

Hope I don't ruin anything, but-

technically, really wonderful as well. How the hell do they (set, costumes, props, dirt!, apples!, carpet!) destroy the whiteness... the cleanliness... every night and then restore it? Brava to the crew and designers. It is pretty shocking to see that dirt flying everywhere.

Anonymous said...

Feels a bit like underdeveloped Pinter or Becket. The production got a little lost @ times. Big characters; not over acted. Wonder if the direction really understood the content. I felt the presentation lacked the freedom and creativity it deserved. Was watching the ancient audience; don't think they got it.

Anonymous said...

I had problems with the script. Lots of small ideas and specific lines worked, but larger ideas just missed the target. The play seemed to want to be taken seriously, yet turned abruptly absurd and farcical at times. The Alaskan explorer bit got old REAL fast. I could live with the titles until the one ("Lane Forgives Ana") that said what the dialogue and actors should have conveyed on their own (and pretty much did, anyway). My casting problem was that Lane and Charles did not look like they had been medical students together and were now in their fifties -- she was too young. And it's irresponsible of the playwright to to create a Jewish theology out of whole cloth (the discussion of "bashert"). I could see Charles and Virginia falling for something bogus like that, but the play should make it clear that nowhere does Judaism say you should throw away your spouse for this absurd reason. All that being said, the acting was decent -- especially Amaya.