Jun 7, 2005

"Stuff" Clappin'

My first review ever featuring the infamous "clapping man." Enjoy.


Anonymous said...

Nice review! I thought it was a pretty spectacular production myself. Congrats upon harnessing the reliably excited "clapping man" into your service.

Anonymous said...

Saw it last night. A few comments:

Hare's Bush was a sphinx. I guess I was expecting more nervous chortles and poorly-placed jokes. In this role, Kieth Carradine had a Hestonl-like quality that had a chilling martial effect, even if he wasn't exactly the nickname-zinging, malapropism-spouting despot we've come to know and fear.

On the other hand, Dakin Matthews was a dead-ringer for Cheney. It was scary.

Hare's Powell was more full of rage and righteous indignation than the real one. His barking at the President, while satisfying, lacked verisimilitude. Tyrees Allen was brilliant, though, and a thrill to watch. I felt Hare missed a huge opportunity by giving short shrift to the process that led up to Powell speaking at the UN. I wanted to see the moment that Bush's inner circle (Condi, Cheney, Rummy, Wolfy) decided, in the interest of credibility, to make Powell their tool at the UN. I wanted to see Powell agonize over the assignment. I wanted to see him rip up the pages of the speech that Cheney and Rummy sent, and the hurt and indignation that must have ensued. I wanted to see Powell's true colors, as, like a good soldier, he finally capitulated to the warmongers and sold this travesty to the world. This, it seems to me, is the missing arc of Hare's play.

One last thing: The most volatile part of the play had to be Anna Khaja's soliloquy as the Palestinian "viewpoint." Her achingly poignant statement, "we are the Jews of the Jews," was met with exactly three claps, and a marked absence of oxygen in the room. When I congratulated Anna afterwards, she told me she's often booed and heckled during her speech, and she often has to hold, as if for laughter or applause, to continue. There's a manifestation of the power of live theatre, if I've ever heard one.

PS - where was Richard Pearle, the Darth Vader of our times, in all of this?