May 4, 2005

Oh, the pain of being a theater reviewer!

Anita Gates, in the NYT, reviews a play that seems to be hoping cash in on "Vagina Monologues"-style title titillation by calling itself "Orgasms."
[The actors] have obviously been directed, by the playwright, to exaggerate their behavior like children's-show performers. At times they speak with the pseudo-amazed random-word emphasis of some television news anchors. "Here is a possible conversation between the - penis - and the - vagina," Ms. Fadem says. Yes, the audience is also forced to watch talking sex organs.

Gates also reviews the audience:
The worst case of overacting ... was in the audience. Two women to my right were either employed by the management as professional laughers or under the influence of some dangerous new recreational drug (maybe some of that super-fast-acting marijuana from "Reefer Madness"). Or they were just odd.

One found the strangest lines hilarious - including "Let's take a simple situation" - and laughter was not enough to express her delight. She continually clapped like a child watching a magician at a birthday party, sometimes calling out "Yes!" to dialogue that particularly pleased her. This was all very strange, since there isn't a single genuinely funny line in this overlong one-act would-be comedy.
And then there's that horrendous curtain call, when the playwright's wife, the show's producer, barges in to "bully the audience into staying for a discussion of sexual dysfunction and psychological issues surrounding the female orgasm."

Here's the play's hideous website.


Sloanasaurus said...

I recently attended a debate "Today's Art is Trash" where wone debater argued that the art being displayed is often the presenter rather than the art itself. Thus, the art about displaying a can of poop is really about the fact that a person is displaying the can and not the display of the poop itself.

This is trashy art because the art itself cannot stand on its own without the presenter.

However, some presenters manage to survive along with their art. Take Jackson Pollock for example. His works are trash without the connection to his tortured life. Pollocks paintings are not art on their own, they are only art when it is known the paintings are by him.

99% of art in all ages is trash. I am sure it was also true in ancient Greece. We just don't know because the trashy art did not survive the was emptied out.

miklos rosza said...

i disagree about pollock. when you look at it as "decorative" and make no attempt to fathom deep meaning out of it a fair number of pollock's paintings work very well and sustain interest indefinitely.

and by the way, my favorite chimpanzee artist was (the late) bozo, whose paintings resembled franz kline's. i'd hang a bozo on my wall any day.