Monday, May 26, 2008

Boneyard Prayer

I have a lot of interesting things to say about Our Town and Speech and Debate, especially in regards to each other, so I'll save the mammoth post for tomorrow. And I unfortunately ended up missing Lipstick Traces, so we're down to one.

As I mentioned last week, Boneyard Prayer was the first Redmoon show I've seen, but I was very aware of the Redmoon aesthetic going in. Yet I can't help but wonder at what point in time an aesthetic no longer needs to justify itself. Do we do puppets because puppets is what we do or do we do puppets because puppets are the best way to convey the show we want to convey?

Maybe it was just the dust bowl theme that wasn't grabbing me or maybe it was me coming off of a matinee of ATC's Speech and Debate, but Boneyard Prayer just didn't do much for me. I truly think that part of the problem was the switching back and forth between puppet and live representations of the characters, which in turn never really allowed me to feel like I knew either. For a one hour show, it just seemed to plod and slog along through what should have been a dramatic script. And there might lie the problem -- the Great Depression atmosphere created is so heavy and oppressive that by the time the big reveal comes, an infant's death seems like a minor ordeal. It doesn't feel, as it should, like the linchpin for all of the dreariness in the show; it's just another of many reasons the world sucks for these characters.


This week's tentative (I feel the need to add the disclaimer as both Per Diem and Signal obligations pick up) schedule: Raven's Laughter on the 23rd Floor on Thursday, Theatre Oobleck's The Strangerer on Saturday, and Halcyon's Henry IV on Sunday. Let's hear it for normal viewing schedules!


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