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Well

Mar. 9th, 2010 | 03:19 pm

Ashland, Oregon
at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival
Well
written by Lisa Kron
Well at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival

It's 105 minutes of "Did You Get It?"-sledgehammer-over-the-audience's-head time as Well crawls its way to an unsatisfying conclusion.  

Stand-up comedian Lisa Kron wrote this sketch play that is repeatedly not about her relationship with her mother. Not about her mother who is lounging prominently on stage even as the audience takes its seats.  Not. Get it?

To be fair to Kron, I've talked to people who liked the play when it was at San Francisco's ACT, it won Tony Award nominations for its lead characters when it was on Broadway, and the New York Times welcomed Well as a "sparkling autobiographical play" to rally "fans of that beleaguered literary form, the memoir".

So, OSF gets credit for taking a risk with a modern, quirky piece.  But, director James Edmondson and crew didn't connect with the work.  In this incarnation the play feels overreaching, shoddy, and incomplete.  Almost creepily amateurish. Read more...Collapse )

I appreciate OSF's decision to offer new plays and non-traditional dramatic structures. There's a star of appreciation for that boldness.  But, other good things about this production are merely standalone stand-out performances.  There's no story, moral, or character changing that let me know I saw Theatre.

Ozdachs Rating:  3 Syntaxes out of 5
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