I saw a couple new plays over the last few weeks, and it got me thinking about structure.
There seems to be a trend with young playwrights that rejects the “restraints” of traditional structure. With nothing worthwhile to replace it, however, rejecting traditional structure feels like a rejection of any structure at all. The resulting play feels like a meditation on a theme at best and a plot with no climax or catharsis at worst.
Rajiv Joseph is one of my favorite contemporary playwrights. I remember seeing his play A Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo in Los Angeles and being blown away. It was political, yet personal. Surreal, yet plainspoken. It captured a place and a wonderment that I seek to find in my own writing.
There’s an ad I often hear on NPR featuring a film critic saying, “I can’t wait for the real post-apocalyptic dystopia to arrive so we can finally stop seeing films about it.”
Every time I hear it I think:
I so often see synopses for new films or tv shows or plays that take place in this post-apocalyptic landscape, particularly written by younger, (I’m just guessing here, but…) white, male writers.
I totally get the impulse. It’s hugely dramatic after all. What do you do after the worse possible thing has happened? You fight the man and reclaim the day! Does matter how vague, contrived, or illogical the details. Hell yeah! Tune in! Continue reading Post-Apocalypse Now
Great news from Burbank! Falling for Make Believeis a critical and audience success and so the show is extending by popular demand!
“[Playwright Mark] Saltzman illuminates the self-loathing Hart (Ben D. Goldberg, marvelously invested, if too handsome by half), pulling vintage items from his output with Rodgers (ever-stalwart Brett Ryback) into commentary.” – LA Times
“What Brett Ryback as Rodgers and Ben D. Goldberg as Hart lack in comparable vocal power they make up for in melodic, resonant stylings. And Ryback is so convincing at the onstage piano, that it’s nearly impossible to tell if he’s faking it.” – Burbank Leader
“The singing all by itself is worth the price of admission…It falls to the cast, as brilliant in their character portrayals as they are in their singing, to show us what the party line has withheld.” – My Burbank
The play is set to continue to run through the end of June…however, I will only be in it through June 9th! So before I step out of Richard Rodgers’s shoes, come see Falling for Make Believe at the Colony Theatre!
For tickets call 818-558-7000 ext.15 or visit www.colonytheatre.org. But Hurry – they are seriously going fast!
This April I am stepping into the skin of one of the founding fathers of the musical theatre genre – my genre. The Colony Theatre in Burbank presents the world premiere of Falling For Make Believe, about Lorenz Hart. I will play Richard Rodgers.
As iconic as the man’s music is, the man himself almost disappears behind his work – and it certainly was his intention to do so. He and his estate did (until very recently) their very best to fiercely protect the “Rodgers and…” legacy.
Exactly what he may have been protecting it from is the subject of the play, which opens up a fascinating window to the relationship between two partners who created magic, loved each other dearly, but ultimately couldn’t help the other in the ways they needed.
“Brett Ryback as the accompanist…almost steals the show with the variety of his piano playing. His turn on stage as Kiddo’s Russian instructor at Juilliard is a gem and you will not recognize him in the denouement scene.” ~Theatreworld