Normally I wouldn’t bother reviewing something that you have no possibility of seeing (it was a one-night-only thing), but this evening got me thinking about things like how short our generation’s attention span is, and how strange it is that I’ve realized I’m more likely to commute from Brooklyn to Manhattan to see an unknown hour-long production than a three-hour one. Don’t get me wrong, I love a good three-hour play (see my Death of a Salesman review), but there’s nothing worse if twenty minutes in you realize it’s destined to be a complete waste of your time. Anyway:
- There were 4 plays and I thoroughly enjoyed 3 of them.
- Common themes well-explored: dreams, war, what life must be like in a first-world country, death.
- Loved hearing the Spanish mixed with English. I don’t speak Spanish, but I was usually able to figure out what was being said and the mixing was a pure audible treat.
- The second play, ‘A White Night’s Dream’ was my favorite. In just a few lines, the two characters became real, relatable people. I loved how genuinely enthralled the male character was at hearing the progression of the female character’s dream. And his harping obsession with Al Pacino. And the female’s shortening of Peter Brook to just ‘Brook’, the visionary director. Wonderful job making me continuously ask the question ‘and then what?’
- The final play (a monumental one-woman monologue) had excellent use of language that painted gorgeous visual images. Also great uses of sound.
- None of the endings really worked. Well, I liked the third play (which was a little too unrelentingly serious for me) retroactively lightening the whole ordeal by claiming ‘aliens’ as the explanation for the missing daughter that tore a family apart… but it seems I’m one of the few who did. The first play just petered out, the second play had kind of a strange death sequence that didn’t resonate for me, and the fourth play should have ended about a minute before it did– on the excellent line ‘I’m going home to make pudding for breakfast!’
- Interestingly enough, all the plays could have used some editing down. I think a lot of writers decide they’re going to write a ten-minute play, then come up with a five-minute idea, then stretch it out to ten minutes.
- The first play didn’t work for me at all. I didn’t care about the characters, I didn’t feel stakes, I wasn’t rooting for anything to happen. Just awkward shit and sex jokes.