Sunday, June 19, 2005

You've gotten eviler since I saw you last...

Gosh, I'm beat. I have to stop going out after shows. Gets in the way of the blogging, and that's most important.

The True Ballad of Fall's Blessings had gamblers, and the supernatural, and the old west and at least 12 too many plotlines. Not that I don't like crazy plotlines, but sometimes I want more time with my favorite actors. Yes, the play needed at least 70% more Jamie Vann.* This lady Jennifer Avery also appealed to me, in the same way Mr. Vann does-- clearer and bolder than most people can manage to be on stage.

I liked it a lot. I liked the story, and I liked the set, and I overall approved of everything that was happening. There were many little points where the play tripped for me- went too far/not far enough/in general didn't have the chops- but not enough to make me feel badly towards it as a whole. Plus, it contained my favorite single costume of the year so far: a splendid Betsy Johnsonish frock/pantaloons ensemble for a bearded lady.

Lovely background music... but as a wild-west musical it fell down on the musical part. There were only six songs, and some of them were... well, I'm tired. But the point I'm trying to talk round to here is that six is not a large amount of songs. Six is an acceptable number if a. the songs are performances within the text (eg 12th night) or b. the songs happen only at moments of unusual intensity and are somehow set apart (eg curse of the crying heart). When there are 15 numbers in a show, it's ok to have people sing about their philosophy of life, or about what they're making for breakfast. My point is- there were some full-fledged musical type songs in what I would classify as a song with plays, and they didn't quite work. I actually asked- why did you start singing just now? And I'm not the sort of person that asks that about musicals.

The venue was well insulated. Hurray! A first for this weekend!

*I saw Mr. Vann, this great bald stevedore shaped actor, in King Lear, where he was extremely fabulous as- Kent, I think. One of the good ones. My praise of him is more based on King Lear than on Falls Blessing, in which he had little to do but look interesting and sound dangerous.


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