Feb 3, 2006

Very South Coast Rep

That's how Rabbit Hole felt to me, and not in a good way. I admire Cynthia Nixon (not for that TV show—I happened to catch her as Harper in Angels in America) and David Lindsay-Abaire (whom I most recently reviewed here). But I found his new drama dry, dull, despondent... well, here's the review. I'm happy to see that joining in my disappointment are Linda Winer and Eric Grode. Taking the opposite view are Ben Brantley, Leonard Jacobs, and Diane Snyder.


Michael M. Landman-Karny said...

Can you clarify why you hate "South Coast Rep"? They usually do very good "mainstream" work.

Rob Kendt said...

For the record, I don't hate South Coast Rep, by any means, any more than I necessarily hate all "mature, tasteful" plays directed by Daniel Sullivan. SCR is where I saw, and loved, "Kimberly Akimbo," not to mention "Lobby Hero," Culture Clash's "The Birds," a lovely "Cherry Orchard," a fine production of "Happy End," and too many other good shows to mention here. But with its arid, well-appointed, upper-middle-class white suburban angst, "Rabbit Hole" embodied, to me, a sort of default SCR house style. (SCR is also where I first saw "A Naked Girl on the Appian Way," sort of the comic flip side of the same well-heeled coin.) I also made the association because "Rabbit Hole" was featured last year as part of SCR's Pacific Playwrights Festival, and I happened to see Jerry Patch at the press preview last week. No argument, SCR is one of America's finest regional theaters, but even the best have their quirks and biases, just as did Gordon Davidson's Taper (it's too early to recognize Michael Ritchie's stamp), Jack O'Brien's Globe, Des McAnuff's La Jolla, and so on. And I defy anyone who's logged a lot of South Coast hours to tell me they don't know what I'm talking about.