Friday, July 31, 2009

From points west...

I've been secluded in a top-secret location for the past 5 days without Internet access which is one of the reasons I've been delinquent. But I'm sure you've been keeping busy, seeing the surprising number of shows still around and reading up on all the news. But while I have this brief moment released from my other responsibilities, let me please encourage you to go see "Driving Miss Daisy" and "Thoroughly Modern Millie" before they close. You'll be sad if you don't.

If you haven't seen "DMD" let me tell you this one thing: Garet Chester is awesome in it. Oh sure, Jim Bynum and Joy Williams are exceptional but that's the first thing that anyone's going to tell you. Garet is an essential third leg for the "DMD" stool and totally immerses himself in the character of Boolie. To be honest, there were times early on in the show that I felt Joy and Jim were a little too broad in their portrayals (a concern completely dispelled before intermission) but I never felt that about Mr. Chester's work. His Boolie is authentic, lived-in, and succinct. Much hearty praise should be directed toward Ms. Williams and Mr. Bynum but Mr. Chester should NOT be overlooked.

I've been meaning to write something about DMD for weeks and now that I've been away from things for a while I can't remember if I did or not. So I apologize if this is redundant. Oh, and see "Millie" because of the typing dance, Ali Thibodeau, Maggie Marlin and about a half-dozen other things. Personally, I've got to get back to town to see Hamlet, Fully Committed and Forum. Simple no rest for the wicked in this town...


Anonymous said...

Dave, you simply MUST go out to see "Forum" at the Dell - our theater-going family was there tonight, and had a blast. The cast is unbelievable, and the show is an absolute hoot. Jason Marks turns in a tour-de-force performance as Pseudolus, and is supported by wonderful clowns Charles Wissinger, Kerry Keenan, Craig Smith, and the divalicious Terri Moore. A beautiful night for the show, and so great to see so many supportive folks cheer on a really wonderful night of theater under the stars. Top notch!!

Anonymous said...

I honestly think for anything negative to be said about Williams' or Bynum's work in this piece is just searching for something to nit pick.

Of course everyone is going to tell you their work is exceptional, because it's true. Chester takes a serviceable role and gives just that a serviceable performance.

Thank you for boasting Chester's thus-far unheralded performance. But it might seem that you have done a disservice to the bulk of the two-thirds the cast to do so.

It's a truly a fine cast all-around. And Williams' work in particular is well worth it.

To recommend the production on the actor portraying Boolie's merit might be likened to recommending a production of "Hamlet" based on the merit of the actor playing Osric's work.

Dave T said...

Thanks for chiming in with your opinion, Anon #2. If my disservice toward Mr. Bynum or Ms. Williams was in calling them exceptional, directing "hearty praise" at them, or including them in an overall strong recommendation for a production in which they are the principal leads, well then I just hope I get that kind of disservice at my next work review or in a recognition from the VPA. All three characters in this show can easily slip into caricature, a tendency that has been noted over the years by others. My "nitpicking" was just my early warning signs about this tendency, which thankfully, this production avoided very well.

Also, I've recommended productions based on lighting, sets, minor characters, music, small plot points, and good looking leads. To compare a show with a three-person cast to one with a bare minimum of eight or ten (and upwards of what, 20?) is like, well, it's the weekend so my analogy generator is resting. Y'all just fill in the blank.

Anonymous said...

To recommend a show on good-looking leads, being well admitted, is a strong admission on your part. I guess one could walk down the street to view that, especially during the summer. Lighting, sets, minor characters all being valid in a theater setting if well-worth mentioning.

But one might add, that other than being "exceptional," and one might say "extraordinary," Ms. Williams is also a stellar-looking lead.

My viewing of her in, for instance, Moonlight and Magnolias, showed an incredibly in-shape woman in a minor role turning in a hilarious, although one might say, scene-chewing, performance. In Driving Miss Daisy, it's a complete turnaround to see this agile, fit woman portraying something like a 90-year-old woman convincingly.

Call them exceptional. Call them otherwise. I would buy a ticket again and again to see them.

It does seem to need to be noted that I read your writings often and agree with them often and respect them often.

In this case, I think Williams' and Bynum's work needs no warning signs. Just go and enjoy and be moved.

elise said...

Go see Night of January 16th. It's closing this weekend!

Thespis' Little Helper said...

AAAAHHHH!!! So much theatre going on! How to find time to see it all!