“It looks pretty dumpy for a musical.”
I came across this series on Theatre Mania – it’s called Bros on Broadway. They’ve done four posts to date in which guys with little or no experience with theatre, let alone Broadway theatre, go see a show and report back on what they see.
“The best part is all the drinking. During the first part (there are two intermissions, which is a good thing) of the show the old dude, George [Tracy Letts] –the most obnoxious professor ever — keeps pouring drinks for everyone. They must have gone into that bottle of Jim Beam twenty times.”
I like this. For those of us in the theatre, for those of us who like theatre, it seems impossible to consider that there are those individuals out there who have never seen a play. And that they are very content with their lives, having never seen a play. I’m always amazed when theatre isn’t a part of someone’s life, but then I’m sure someone would be amazed why hockey or baseball isn’t a part of mine. Having said that, we are always talking about building an audience, connection with an audience, how do we get more people to go to the theatre. In general, people are only go to make an effort to go to things that they connect to. And so we find ourselves sometimes spinning our wheels, preaching to the converted and never growing or building audiences.
The play had some stuffy academic jokes (in French), but it’s generally easy to follow and I laughed the entire time. I would absolutely recommend this play but never see it with my girlfriend. It’s too much about relationships for a good date. The audience was full of couples and the dudes all looked miserable.
So, does theatre transcend with an audience it’s not meant for? Can a play connect to someone who’s never been to the theatre? Of course the answer is, it depends on the play but in this case I think it’s a qualified yes. I picked the review of Who’s Afraid of Viriginia Woolf, mostly because I saw the same production as this “dude” did.
And yes, there was some confusion (the gentleman thought the play was a musical before he went) and yes, this guy is probably never going to see another play again, but I think that even in his “Dude” language he seemed to get the finer points of the play. Even connected it to a moment in a relationship in his own life. That to me is what makes a successful piece of theatre.
And just to compare, here’s the New York Times review.