Thursday, December 12, 2013

Backstage short play night at Cartoon Art Gallery

Backstage's weekend of short plays at Cartoon Art Gallery began tonight with two Alex Broun minis and one hour-long by Woody Allen. There were some good scripts to look forward to, so I had high hopes.

Alas, the first play, Exiting, came out quite obviously jinxed. There was often insufficient -- and sometimes, even incoherent -- projection of dialogue, especially at the beginning, and especially from the slimmer of the two actors (who also seemed to wear a permanent smirk, regardless of what was going on with his character). His costar did a much better job with his character, saving the play somewhat. Of course, little could be done by the actors about the fact that both twists were pretty much given away in the program. The second play, Selling Johnny Depp, turned out a bit better, although the actors, especially the male ones, could really have done much more in terms of emoting.



The post-interval Woody Allen play, Death, was a refreshing breath of good theatre, though. With effort put into ensuring visibly good production value, and generally good acting and directing, it was about as entertaining as a play with that script should be. Apart from one instance of thick accent obscuring lines (especially given the acoustics at the venue) and a few fumbles, the delivery was good all around. My only recommendation: I would have preferred more Woody-esque deadpan from the lead character, rather than near-constant wide-eyed shock. Overall, Backstage pulled off a good job with this one; I wish the preceding ones were done as well.

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