Oct 4, 2010
photo by Tristram Kenton
As an inveterate Anglophile weaned on Doctor Who, the Pythons, and Merchant Ivory, I still found last week's Broadway season openers, Brief Encounter and The Pitmen Painters, impressive but largely unsatisfying. The first is an alternately lavish and impish production of a very attenuated romance that wears out its narrative welcome pretty quickly, despite some moments of pure theater magic involving a ukulele and an overturned rowboat; the latter, despite the efforts of a lovely ensemble cast, falls into the dodgy genre of art-as-vehicle-of-social-uplift. I'm often a sucker for this kind of story when it involves a backstage, let's-put-on-a-show element (like Lee Hall's other Broadway show), but I find it insufferable when it features characters who are walking mouthpieces for half-baked ideas about the meaning of "art"--a noun which should almost never be the named subject of any play.
In short, these two new offerings, if not quite the dog's breakfast, aren't exactly the dog's dinner, either.
Posted by Rob Weinert-Kendt at 4:00 PM