Saturday, April 15, 2006

Waiting Game

Saturday, April 15, 2006
I saw echo37's production of "The Graduate" last night. I'd been anxiously awaiting this play for months- since August, actually. Sadly, I was disappointed. Either I didn't really "get" the film, or the director/cast didn't "get" it.

My money's not on me- it's bad form to bet on oneself.

So, after watching a well-staged play with a clever set, but disapointingly shrill, one-dimensional characters, I have to admit that I wish I'd have anxiously anticipated just about anything else. But was it the build-up that made it disapointing? Can anything, or anyone, really live up to standards set by 8 solid months of longing? Waiting? Pining?

No, sadly, reality is often less than expected.

In an unrealated (ha. bullshit.) note, I've decided to let this Watermelon Fascination go. Adieu, unrequited love. Adieu.

16 comments:

UberShmoo said...

The whole point of the book/film/play, is that no-one ever really "gets" anything. Nothing ever is a great as we want it to be, and we're all left wondering: Is that all there is? What do we really want out of life? And is that what we really need?

I think you need to see it again, and this time, try to pay attention.

Meg said...

hey now. I DID pay attention. Whoever you are.

There was not enough angst in that production of the Graduate. The are serious flaws in the script. None of the characters have ANY depth, which in my uneducated and unpretentious opinion means that they were either poorly written or poorly portrayed.

I find myself really relating to Benjamin Braddock. I'm finishing my degree. I'm torn between the values of my parents, the values of society, and what I attempt to believe are my personal values.

However, echo37's production fell pretty flat. Sorry, guys. Good attempt- next time, I'll try to put aside the greatness of Anne Bancroft and Dustin Hoffman...but it'll probably still fall flat.


That is all I have to say.

Lady Rose said...

look here ubershmoo, it was a shitty production of the Graduate okay? I mean firstly it translated horribly to the stage and secondly it was badly directed and weakly acted. And I thought the set was pretty bad too.

it's not our fault it was a bad play!

ubershmoo said...

Well, to each his own I guess. Being a cast member, I guess I'm a bit biased. Being an actor, my skin is obscenely thin. But I won't apologize for standing up for a project that I've had a wonderful time being a part of. I am truly sad that there are people who came away from our play thinking we were "shitty". Doesn't feel good. But, to each his own.

Meg said...

I don't doubt it was a wonderful time. The cast looked like they had fun, and had I not seen the film 3 times this month, (April is a good time to watch it. Fits my mood.) perhaps my expecations would have been different.

That's the problem with producing a stage version of a film so many people love, that's so iconic and represents a generation of Americans. Everyone has their own expectations, their own desires for the characters, that they are unwilling to relent and accept something new. Kudos for trying, and like I said- looked like fun.

That said, I've been part of some really, REALLY SHITTY productions, and felt the burn of some terrible reviews. Get used to it- bad reviews are better than good ones- at least you learn something, and you know that people are being honest with you.

Lady Rose said...

actors should not have thin skins. everyone is so yak, yak, yak about how wonderful it is to be part of these wonderful projects. Maybe if you stopped thinking about what a wonderful time you're having with the these wonderful people you could spend a little more time on producing good quality theatre.

Poor actors, what are they to do under such questionable direction?

ubershmoo said...

Just because I'm needy and want to hear if anybody at least like MY performance without direct prodding .... were there any characters (main or otherwise) that you enjoyed? I know I'm hijiking your space, I'm sorry, I'm a twit, I'll be gone soon. Or maybe just lurking....

Lady Rose said...

why don't you just tell us who you played and we'll tell you how you were.

L-diggs said...

Dear Ubershmoo...
Get over yourself. Constructive criticism comes in many forms. I find it fascinating that in a city of a million people, you chose to take a blog critique seriously. Branch out, read the paper, perhaps the radio, but for the love of God man, don't fish for compliments after you've just cyber-bitch-slapper the critiqeuer. I must admit, I haven't seen the show yet, but the Graduate is one of my favourite movies/screen plays and the very notion that it could be bastardized should send Anne Bancroft spinning in her grave. Get over yourself, you were never inline for the Oscar anyways.

Lady Rose said...

ummm, I think she's more concerned about the CAT awards. what with the Oscars being movie-based awards.

I'm just saying...

Meg said...

ahh, the CAT awards. Sausage dress. I mean...good times had by all?

Lurk away, ubershmoo. Post too, I'm not the master of the universe.

I thought that Mr. Robinson was portrayed well, in the second act- particularly when he confronts Benjamin, as were the Braddocks. The desk clerk at the hotel was a little campy, but you know, it worked for him. I liked the seating of the shrink in the audience- that was clever.

I did NOT care for the character of Elaine, both the way the character was written, and the way she was portrayed- too singsongy, and the insecurity drove me nuts. I really hoped for more from Elaine- why is Ben so enamoured with her? What makes her special? I realize that she is the foil to her mother, and represents a lot of what is not portrayed in Mrs. Robinson- but really. I was hoping for a much stronger, intellectual character. Blame the playwrite.

The two leads were meh at best. Mrs. Robinson was very good at being an ice bitch- and brave with the full-frontal, that I don't believe was necessary, but shock value isn't my favourite way to get a point across- but she was lacking in the "pathetic and bored" department. I felt nothing for her, no remorse, no pity.

Ben was played differently than I expected; he seemed nervous..bouncy, almost. I wanted to see more brooding, but I admire his decision not to attempt to BE Dustin Hoffman. I didn't see enough depth- he didn't sell the character to me, but he was good with pacing and stayed with his character throughout.

That's just what I think- who am I to judge? I'm a 22 year old University student, in Business for godssake. I just know what I like, and what I don't.

ubershmoo said...

Well, serves me right for phishing for a compliment. I was The Stripper. Thank you for helping me get over myself. Cheers.

Meg said...

Hey, I forgot about the Stripper! That was some hilarious and great dancing- one of the high points of the first act. (and I'm not just saying that because I feel guilty. You were good.)

ubershmoo said...

Yay! Thank you! I actually took a class for that!

Meg said...

I had heard about you taking a class.

I especially enjoyed when you delivered the line along the lines of "excuse me while I work for a living". You did display a level of depth that surprised me for the short time you were on stage as The Stripper- I did recognize that in your character, the "angst" I was looking for. You did something with it, something beyond what was written, and you did it well.

ubershmoo said...

Yesss! Validation! Thanks again.