What attracts Lorna to me as a character are these layers. Her ability to say: So what, I’m not in love with him, in love isn’t what’s important, in love just gets you kicked around, and then let herself feel love with Joe in small cracks and starts – that her connection with him is so strong she can’t deny it – even as she has to push him away bc there is more at stake than her heart. What attracts me to Lorna is the relationships she forges with these men, and the way in which she interacts with them and they with her. And that, I felt, was where this show was most lacking – in the development of the relationships between characters. While Joe himself was good in a vacuum, (ok, that’s not entirely true, I thought there were some excellent moments with Joe and his dad, and Joe and Tokyo) theatre isn’t in a vacuum. Shows aren’t about one actors work, but how the actors work together to tell a story through relationships.
So, for once, I think I am commenting on the directing. I feel like more time should have been spent working on how these people feel about each other, and how that drives the play forward. No one in this show is immune. And not just this show, in life in general. Furthermore, it's a problem I've seen of late in several productions. Individual actors are very good, but the relationship and interactions between the characters is lousy.
As a whole, I believe theatre is the art of telling a story through relationships. And I forget how important that is to me sometimes, and then I see a show where the relationship work is ignored (and some where the story telling part is too) and I remember what drew me to this craft in the first place. Individual arcs are important, but if there were more important than the arcs of the relationships, then why do we bother to have rehearsals with full casts in the first place. I don't want to get all uppity here, but I do think this is a big distinction between theatre and film. I think theatre must focus on the relationship of the characters AND how the actors demonstrate it. Film has the advantage of cutting and pasting those relationships together. (Before anyone gets mad, I have the utmost respect for people who do film acting well too - I am merely pointing out, for the umpteenth time, that they are different skill sets - one of them being a relationship with a camera vs a relationship with actors that must be displayed live every show - ok, now you can throw tomatoes at will).
|Joe Bonaparte||Seth Numrich|
|Mr. Bonaparte||Tony Shalhoub|
|Lorna Moon||Yvonne Strahovski|
|Mr. Carp||Jonathan Hadary|
|Tom Moody||Danny Mastrogiorgio|
|Eddie Fusseli||Anthony Crivello|
|Roxy Gottlieb||Ned Eisenberg|
|Written by||Clifford Odets|
|Set Designer||Michael Yeargan|
|Costume Designer||Catherine Zuber|
|Sound Designer||Peter John Still and Marc Salzberg|
|Lighting Designer||Donald Holder|