Sunday, August 31, 2014

Played Out

I recently saw a local production of a play commonly printed as The Motherf**cker With The Hat.  It premiered three years ago on Broadway with a big-name cast.  So I was surprised to see this LA production--the first in town I'd heard of--was fairly low rent, in a small theatre with a no-name cast.

They did a good job, though.  That's the great thing about theatre.  They're going to perform the same play that was already done in a multi-million dollar production, and the magic can happen or not, regardless of the money spent. (On the flip side, bad theatre is much worse that bad cinema.  At least in a movie you can enjoy the production value, but you're stuck there in the theatre with living human beings performing right in front of you, and they can feel it failing just like you can.)

The program was a bit odd, with the cast and director not giving credits, but offering gratitude.  (In general, they weren't great writers, but that wasn't their job.)  Then there was the discussion of playwright Stephen Adly Guirgis.  The program noted his plays have been produced on five continents.  So all night I was trying to figure out which.  Okay, North America we know for sure.  And I think we can rule out Antarctica.  But what of the five others.

Europe, yeah, sure, you'd expect it there.  Is Australia the odd continent out?  Could be, but they speak English there and would probably like to see a Broadway title.  Asia might not seem that likely, but it's got more than half the people in the world, so come on.  South America?  Can we take it away?  I don't know.  His characters in this play had a Latino inflection, so I wouldn't be surprised if someone put it on South of the border.  So that leaves Africa.  Who knows?  When you put this sort of information down, let us know what you're talking about.

PS  I just checked and sure enough there was a production in Southern California last year.  Not sure if it played in Los Angeles, though.

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