The Unbearable Banishment: :15 second reviews

Thursday, April 14, 2011

:15 second reviews

I'm never going to get around to writing individual posts for these and since it's my least-popular feature, I thought I'd lump a bunch of quick-hit reviews together. Enjoy! Or not.

* * *

In High, Kathleen Turner plays a foul-mouthed alcoholic nun in a rehab center. Big stretch! She was great but I thought the plot was very movie-of-the-week and the script was weak. An actual line of dialog:

“Cody is hiding something!”

Oh, you don't say? Well, beat me over the head with a big obvious stick. The guy playing the young drug addict was AC-TING and E-MO-TING too much. But my two friends loved it, so who knows? The reviews come out Tuesday. Then I'll know what to think.

* * *

Marisa Tomei is my pretend girlfriend, along with Mary Louise Parker. They, on the other hand, are unaware of my existence. The New Group's Marie and Bruce is :90 minutes of a wife's raging, venomous hatred of her husband. If you think that's uncomfortable to sit through, you're right. Both Tomei and Frank Whaley, her punching bag husband, are terrific. They leave it all on the stage, including for real tears. But if you're feeling kind of blue and insecure about your relationship, then I'd steer clear of this one. A few years back they made this into a movie with Julianne Moore and Matthew Broderick. I can't IMAGINE what that looks like.

* * *

I was looking forward to Driving Miss Daisy with slight trepidation. I thought it might be a lot of Old Lions of the Theater-type histrionics. Well, it wasn't. Darth Vader's Hoke was quiet and seemed truer to the spirit of the character than Morgan Freeman's (although Freeman originated it). And, boy, can Vanessa Redgrave act! (That's like pointing out that water is wet.) A highlight of the season.

* * *

The funniest/saddest/truest thing you can see right now is David Lindsay-Abaire's Good People. Francis McDormand, a down and out "Southie" from the wrong side of Boston, looks up Tate Donovan, a former fling who made it out of the neighborhood and is now a doctor. She gives an utterly selfless performance, looking drab and beaten by life throughout. The entire cast of six is spectacular. I recognize some of the characters in this show from my past and it stayed with me for a long while.

* * *

Richard Thomas plays the bumbling idiot Timon in Shakespeare's rarely-produced Timon of Athens. Timon gives all of his money away to his friends and then turns into a hermit and violent misanthrope when he goes broke and none of his "friends" will lend him a nickle. It didn't get strong reviews when it opened but I really liked it a lot. And tickets were a measly $15 bucks! C'mon! A top-notch Shakespeare production at The Public Theater (one of the best venues in town) for mere pennies. You can't go wrong, folks.


Anonymous dinahmow said...

Well, I for one hope you continue these.
I live so far from "good" theatre and can seldom justify the fares to travel south (let alone NY!) so I have to get my fix vicariously.
Redgrave? The only thing of hers I didn't like was that ghastly "Camelot."
$15 for a ticket? Why aren't people beating down the door!

April 14, 2011 at 6:41 PM  
Anonymous daisyfae said...

Wait. Mary Louise Parker is MY imaginary girlfriend. we may have to arm-wrestle over this.

Can. Not. Wait. to get there Sunday. you are one of 3 dates i've arranged for my 4 day visit, and the only one who pimped me broadway tix.

April 14, 2011 at 7:36 PM  
Blogger Kono said...

You know in 15 seconds you made me want to go see Marie and Bruce (and write a reversal of that play) and Good People... and for the record you and Daisy need to back off my girl, Mary-Louise Parker is my girlfriend dammit.

April 14, 2011 at 9:21 PM  
Blogger tennysoneehemingway said...

Sigh. More great theatre that I'll never get to see. Although, I am helping to do the music for a local, orignal production, opening in May that you'll never see so - maybe we're even?

April 14, 2011 at 10:25 PM  
Blogger Ponita in Real Life said...

Okay... I am green with envy. I'd like to see all of those! And no, I don't want Mary Louise Parker as my girlfriend. All you others can fight amongst yourselves over her.

WV="aboot" - which is what we Canadians get accused of saying whenever we say "about"! ;-)

April 14, 2011 at 10:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I would especially love to see Good People

April 15, 2011 at 4:37 AM  
Blogger The Unbearable Banishment said...

dinah: I don't believe you have to travel great distances to see "good" theater. I'll bet there are some pretty good local reps in your neck of the woods.

daisy: Can our wrestling match include MLP? Re: your tix. You are seeing the best of the best. Lucky girl!

kono: I got first dibs on MLP long before you two clowns showed up. And for the record you would love both of those shows.

Hem: Local theater can be just as moving as the big time. I've seen it myself! Have heart.

April 15, 2011 at 6:09 AM  
Blogger The Unbearable Banishment said...

Ponita: Tate Donovan looked kind of hunky. Maybe he can be your pretend boyfriend. Aboot = LOL!

Nurse: Daisy is seeing Good People on Wednesday. I kind of wish I were going with her to see it a second time.

April 15, 2011 at 6:14 AM  
Blogger JZ said...

ooooh Marisa.....
ooooh MLP......
ooooh Marisa....
ooooh MLP......

I feel like a sleazy Charlie Sheen oscillating between my goddesses....well, not really.

ooooh Marisa....
ooooh MLP.......

April 15, 2011 at 7:05 AM  
Blogger Cat said...

As your non-theater person fan, I appreciate your rolling this thing all into one post. That said, I'm going to suggest Hubby go see Timon when he is in NYC. It really seems to have everything he is looking for - theater, Shakespeare, and a cheap price tag.

April 15, 2011 at 8:54 AM  
Blogger The Unbearable Banishment said...

JZ: Last year I saw my Mary Louise in TWO plays! (Neither one was all that great.) I almost walked up on stage during the curtain call and asked her out for tea.

Cat: Glad to be of service but you'd better call The Public. I'm not sure how much longer this is running. There are other reasonably priced Shakespeare productions around town.

April 15, 2011 at 10:26 AM  
Blogger Ponita in Real Life said...

Tate Donovan can definitely be my pretend boyfriend! He's not too young (I have a 5 year limit on either side of my age... I am not a cougar!!) and he's tall enough. And he's got a nice voice. Okay, I'll take him!! ;-)

April 15, 2011 at 11:07 AM  
Blogger LẌ said...

"Richard Thomas plays the bumbling idiot"

Big stretch!

April 16, 2011 at 3:12 PM  
Blogger Here In Franklin said...

I hope you and DF have a great time. Cheers!

April 16, 2011 at 7:59 PM  
Blogger Pat said...

Vanessa had reached the stage where she doesn't have to act anymore. She just has to be.

April 17, 2011 at 4:57 AM  
Anonymous Dolce said...

you know how lucky you are, right? Right?

April 17, 2011 at 3:49 PM  
Blogger The Unbearable Banishment said...

Dolce: Right.

April 17, 2011 at 5:04 PM  
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