Quick correction: THE MAN WHO CAME TO DINNER presented by UA Arizona Repertory Theatre on campus plays Nov 10 through Dec 8, 2013.
In my opinion, this production was fabulous. I fell in love with the directing choices made by Stephen Wrentmore and for the most part agreed with the way the characters were played. Stephen's additions to the already-fun play such as the addition of the Beastie Boys and Guns N' Roses only enhanced my enjoyment of the play. The "modern" additions accurately underscored the most fun elements of the play and perfectly complemented the overall theme and mood. Placed where they were, they also could not help but re-invigorate the audience for the exciting conclusion of the play. In her review on the Arizona Daily Star, Kathy Allen calls the modifications "gratuitous and anachronistic," saying that they "seemed to be there for no other reason than to attempt to put a contemporary spin on the play ." She then goes on to say that "the thing about “Earnest” is, it doesn't need spin." I heartily disagree with Ms. Allen. I believe that theater was not meant to be taken strictly by the script-if that was so, why would we as theater goers go to see a play more than once, whether put on by the same company or a different one? It would be the exact same performance. I believe that scripts can and should be played with, especially with so playful a playwright such as Oscar Wilde. I do not think that the additions distracted from my enjoyment of the performance; rather, they added to it. Sherilyn Forrester of Tucson Weekly added that "whatever the new spin, it's important that it be true to Earnest" which I believe Stephen was, in keeping with the fun spirit of Oscar Wilde. In addition, I very much enjoyed the characters in Earnest and thought that for the most part, they were wonderfully portrayed. Algernon, Jack, Cecily, and Gwendolyn had all found that character spark that manifests itself internally as well as externally that really determines whether the actor is the character or whether they are playing the character. However, I did not enjoy Lady Bracknell's performance nearly as much. The character to me felt flat and unexciting-the lines were delivered painfully slowly, the cues were a beat behind, the accent was not enjoyable, and the characteristic spark was lacking. I very much agree with Ms. Forrester when she reports that "this attempt falls flat" because "when [Bracknell]...enters, all the energy flees the room." I think this is an accurate description because I found Lady Bracknell's portrayal to be just flat.
The technical aspects of this play were glorious. The set, lights, sound, and costumes were so cleverly done and gorgeously rendered that it was hard not to just stare at them. The costumes were beautiful examples of nineteenth century Victorian wear, and the set took a creative spin on the classical Victorian decorations while still staying true to the Victorian spirit and perfectly exemplifying the overarching themes of the show. One of the most creative aspects of the set was the rotating fan that was hand-painted like a peacock feather that sunk into the stage at the end of Act I. It reflected the aristocratic peacock theme of the script and the production while being a marvelously clever work of set design. I agree with Ms. Allen when she says that the production "looks beautiful." It definitely does.
In conclusion, I would wholeheartedly recommend this play to a friend. I believe that this production does a great job and retaining the original fun, jovial spirit of Oscar Wilde while incorporating even more fun aspects in order to increase the audience's enjoyment of the play. The technical aspects are gorgeous, creating a production that is pleasurable to look at, and the acting and directing choices are almost all spot on. I would most definitely say to go see The Importance of Being Earnest!
it is interesting how the people in the press, especially bush league press that nobody gives a ---- about, can come up with these amazing reviews, critical thinking, and profound judgements. but then again, all of these bush league journalist didn't make in the field they are writing about, did they.
Well, that was an annoying review. First the author complains about this huge misstep by the director that dooms this production and then say nothing about that misstep. I guess you're trying to drum up business with reverse psychology--Come see this play, not for the terrific performance outlined but, for the one really misguided terrible interpretation of the most dominant character.
METHINKS U DOEST PROTEST WAY TOO MUCH
Great review, nice to see M Scot Skinner's insightful writing again....
Linda Ronstadt's voice is a treasure whether it be in song, spoken or written word. From a teenage fan in love fast forwarded 45 years she has been with me in my dreams, consoled me in my sorrows, made me laugh out loud with her wit and charmed me with her warmth and natural beauty. Selfishly, I hope she continues with this new found talent and takes this fan along to the end of my days. I couldn't imagine a world without Linda in it and wish to thank her for all the wonderful moments that add up to a lifetime. ronstadtfanaz
I can't wait to read the rest. Not only a personal story, but the background of life in the Old Pueblo decades ago is fascinating.
Thank you so much for this excerpt from Ms Ronstadt's book! Great reading.
Saw the 9/8 evening performance. Press-Coffman was reciting her lines; the acting was not effective. Didion's writing, which is terrific, carried the performance but barely. I was very disappointed. What's the point of memorizing such a beautiful script if you can't emote except, as Dorothy Parker might say, to run the gamut from A to B?
Scarpia, I hope you've discovered our new online music listings at http://tucsonweekly.getn2.it/. You'll find advance coverage of each classical music event complete with bios of featured artists and streaming music or online video clips as they are available. It's all music in our view, and now we're able to give classical artists the same kind of advance coverage we've only been able to give rock acts in the recent past. In fact, http://tucsonweekly.getn2.it/ has even broadened our rock, jazz, blues and folk coverage substantially. Watch for your favorite live classical music announced at http://tucsonweekly.getn2.it/ as the season unfolds. For example, check out this announcement of the first Arizona Friends of Chamber Music concert this year: The Jerusalem Quartet on Wednesday, Oct. 16.
And, not incidentally, check out the Krueger Brothers concert announcement right here on http://tucsonweekly.getn2.it/ (Be sure to click the tab for the opening act, the Dreadnutts, too!)
Thanks for reading Tucson Weekly!
I hear you. While not a classical event per se, the Kruger Brothers' repertoire spans classical music. Here's is a good example of that (snippets from Appalachian Concerto composed by Jens Kruger):
Continuing coverage of "classical" events would be nice.
Very nice article. Many of the artist at our live work spaces where excited to see so many of our friends listed in your article. It is so very exciting to be a part of Tucson Art Scene. Looking forward to the 'season'.
Thank you for a lovely piece of journalism.
Not quite "everything artistic happening in Tucson". The Kruger Brothers will be performing with the Bob Meighan and the Dreadnutts opening the show at the Vail Theatre of the Arts on September 12. This beautiful, state-of-the-art theatre gets its name from the Vail School District which owns and operates it, but it is inside the Tucson City Limits! Details, directions, videos, tickets, and more are at www.vtota.org.
As excited as I am to read Son of Gun, I was dismayed to see the memoir called a novel right below the headline.
Tim thanks for this story about A World Separated by Borders...
Read Casey Tefertillers "Wyatt Earp : The Life Behind the Legend" alongside this if you want to see the man, not just the criminal.
Fantastic. Otherwise mundane scapes come alive. You really have to see these prints in person. The power of old film is the print. And the printer. I hope she did them all on her own.
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