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Other desert cities


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#1 yvonne johnson

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Posted 05 November 2011 - 04:22 PM

Ben Brantley really likes this rendition. Review.

Going tomorrow. Anyone see the original?
It was not a new dish, as I recognised my tooth marks. Wilfrid

#2 yvonne johnson

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Posted 07 November 2011 - 09:45 PM

This play has terrific acting: all top tier performances by Stockard Channing, mother, (she is a great comedic actor and grabs the stage at most times); Rachel Griffiths, daughter; Stacy Keach, father; Judith Light, aunt, (new to me, but I know, I know, very well known to Broadway and tv, and outshines Channing from time to time), and Thomas Sadoski (the son).

The set is beautiful and I don't think I've been as conscious of light ever before on a stage, but it captured a warm desert sun in the minimalist living room where all takes place.

This is a very funny play and the comedy, for me, beat the melodramatics, the latter of which went on too long in several places. This must be a very taxing part for Griffiths to play day in and out as much of the hysteria in this family emanates from her.

I felt the final secret contrived and a bit of a letdown; my friend did not.
It was not a new dish, as I recognised my tooth marks. Wilfrid

#3 Rail Paul

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Posted 19 January 2012 - 04:51 AM

Very engaging play. Held my interest pretty much the whole play although I would have said "enough already" if this was my family.

I echo Yvonne's comments on lighting. The light changed, the intensity of the fire changed, even the direction of the light changed as the play evolved.

There were many seats empty tonight, and discounts are available.

Dee and I discussed the ending, which was a surprise to me. Afterwards, over a drink, we posited a few more alternative endings. It's that kind of play.

“Jazz musicians just get better and better as the years go by. I think chefs are the same way. You know who you are.”

 

...Jonathan Waxman


#4 Sneakeater

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Posted 03 February 2012 - 04:44 PM

What I couldn't understand about the ending is why it didn't happen earlier. Once the daughter revealed what she was planning to do, there was no reason for the ending not to have occurred then, at the beginning. Except it would've obviated the play.
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#5 Rail Paul

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Posted 25 March 2012 - 02:04 AM

We saw the play a second time recently, with a partly different cast. I believe the deletion of Rachel Griffiths for Elizabeth Marvel makes a huge difference, as does the short term replacement of Stockard Channing with Lauren Klein.

There's a somewhat more balanced flow of the drama now. In the initial cast, the sheer force of Griffiths, Channing, and Judith Light just sucked all the energy out of the room. The rage of the women was breath taking. Marvel's more restrained presentation, and a much more subtle Klein allow Stacy Keach to emerge more forcefully. The intensity is toned down, and the play's shifting of balance and alliances is more evident.

Justin Kirk (as the son) finishes tomorrow, Stockard Channing is expected to return in April.

It's running about 68% full, so discounts are widely available. Currently selling tickets through June

“Jazz musicians just get better and better as the years go by. I think chefs are the same way. You know who you are.”

 

...Jonathan Waxman


#6 Sneakeater

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Posted 25 March 2012 - 04:29 AM

Just to note, pedantically, that Elizabeth Marvel actually originated that role. So Rachel Griffiths (who I saw, too) was really the replacement.

I know what you mean about Stockard Channing. But, having seen that play with her, I can hardly imagine it without her.
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