Archive for the ‘Theater’ Category

Slaughterhouse Live

From the Playboy Blog, 2/6/07

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Last week copy editor Joseph Westerfield gave the stage version of Slaughterhouse Five at 59E59 Theater a glowing review. I was equally excited going in, but not so enthusiastic coming out. Joe knows a lot more about theater than I do, but as an avid Vonnegut fan I didn’t think the play did justice to the masterpiece novel.

Staging the absurdist time-traveling life of Billy Pilgrim in 90 minutes is not an easy task. Pilgrim bounces from one era to another so rapidly that he often doesn’t know where he is, so it’s tough for a theatergoer to follow along without all of Vonnegut’s narration. Add to that the fact that the small ensemble cast changes roles constantly and that props and scenery are left to the imagination, and the audience is befuddled. In the confusion, Vonnegut’s best jokes and most powerful lines get lost. This is no fault of the actors. I agree with Joe that the cast is outstanding. They shift smoothly from role to role, speaking in British accents one minute and German the next. Deanna McGovern deftly handles every female role in the story (though Joe and I both agree that she’s a bit attractive to pull off the aging mother and portly wife). Unlike Joe, I thought Gregory Konow as the older Pilgrim was the weakest member of the cast. Konow’s Pilgrim struck me more as a wide-eyed flower child than a quirky aging father. 

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Goodnight O.J.: No Bedtime Story

From the Playboy Blog, 12/5/07

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In 2006, O.J. Simpson made critics pound on their keyboards when he announced the upcoming publication of If I Did It, a hypothetical description of how he would have murdered his wife and Ron Goldman if indeed he had.

But O.J. had already published a book back in 1994, while still in prison. In I Want To Tell You, Simpson printed and answered some of the 300,000 letters he received in jail.

Thirteen years later, comedian Livia Scott resurrected some of these missives in her one-woman show, “Goodnight O.J,” at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre. I checked it out last week. Scott’s a rising star in the comedy world. She’s appeared on Conan O’Brien and Comedy Central, and she’s been hailed in Time Out and the New York Times.  Continue reading