My review of RTP's "Pulp" is in this week's Style (on newstands this afternoon) but is already available online. Gotta love that Internet (when you have it; ours at home keeps fritzing out, dammit!) If for nothing else, check out the print edition because RTP provided a pretty hot picture from the show (especially if you are a Holly Lucas fan which I know at least one of you is!)
As I mentioned below, my take on this production was different from Ms. Haubenstock's at the T-D in ways that I find interesting. Susan and I have divergent thoughts about many things, I'm sure, but I've found over the years that, not infrequently, we have similar impressions of many productions, even if we don't highlight the same elements. Given that, I'm wondering if this is the kind of production that can come across very differently from night to night -- more so than even the average live theater production.
For instance, Ms. H liked the lights; I thought the spotlight effects missed their mark (both physically and dramatically) almost as often as they hit, which I found distracting. Susan had issues with Ms. Mullins' performance as Terry; I thought she was spot-on, only faltering in the interaction with Ms. Rule's Vivian, something I attribute as much to a curious casting choice as Mullins' work. (Don't get me wrong: I think the world of Ms. Rule, but in my mind, Vivian has to be a bit more va-va-voom to get Terry as hot-n-bothered as she does.)
I thought the timing of the banter was pretty good -- probably just a bit more practiced since opening night. And the songs were disappointing to me but only because with the vocal chops the actresses seem to have, they could have been showstopping. As it was (at my performance at least), the music was nearly inaudible, at least two of the songs were only a minute or two long, and the actresses seemed to be virtually performing a cappella -- a pretty tall order.
Both Ms. H and I seemed to like Ms. Lucas, who Susan vividly describes as "luscious." I, too, thought she was pretty fantastic, though I could not openly leer at her because her boyfriend happened to be sitting in front of me at the show I attended. I look forward to whatever production she lands in next. And the costumes were definitely worthy of particular attention; Susan mentions Bing's red pumps but, in fact, all of the ladies shoes were pretty eye-popping.
I'm sorry I didn't have space to say more about the performances of Renee Coates and Amy Henderson. They both did good jobs but both at times seemed a little awkward, either in their roles or just on stage. With only 300 words, attenuated praise is hard to parce.
One last thing to mention about my night at "Pulp:" I also found myself sitting behind Roy Proctor (okay, technically, I moved over behind him so I could talk to him without shouting across the theater). He seemed in fine spirits, though I did not have a chance to ask him his thoughts on the production afterwards. See: theater critics don't stop being fans just because they stop being critics. I'm thinking that, after I stop writing reviews (which may turn out to be sooner rather than later), I may end up seeing just as many or even more shows.
UPDATE: It occurs to me that I should add that I have no investment in anyone thinking my impression of the show is any more "right" than Ms. H's. If I haven't said it enough before, I find Susan an astute and insightful critic. I guess what I'm trying to get at based on our very different reviews of "Pulp" is how variable live theater can be, on both the giving and receiving end of the performance equation. Nuf said?