Mister Eclectic (howeird) wrote,
Mister Eclectic

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Cloud 9 at Pear Avenue Theater

Dragon Productions, my friend Meredith Hagedorn's theater company, staged another of their Truly Strange plays, which I went to see tonight.  This won't be a full review because the show really defies reviewing.

The play is in two acts. The first act is set in British-colonized Africa, where we see a family, its servants, a friend and a neighbor, all living the colonial life and all boinking each other.  Act II is set in London, and we see the same family, one generation older. That is, the grandmother in Act I is dead, and Betty, the mother from Act I is Betty, the grandmother in act II. The son & daughter from Act I are now parent-aged in Act II. And so on. The same cast plays both sets of characters, but in the most bizarre shuffles. The actor who plays the  regimental colonial father from Act I plays that man's gay son in Act II. The actress who plays the gay son (as a child) in Act I plays the gay son's adult bi sister in Act II. The actor who plays the African servant in Act I plays the tomboy daughter (as a child) of the lesbian lover of the adult bi daughter.

You see what I mean by Truly Strange?

The acting was pretty good, the play is hell to memorize and everything hinges on spot-on entrances, exits and line delivery. The director did a super job of getting those essential mechanics down. But I thought the characters were mostly caricatures, and the script sucked. And blowed. And performed several other unnatural acts not suitable to mention in a public journal entry. The playwright seemed to be counting on shocking the audience with every possible twist on sexual relationships and didn't bother to build real people. That may work in the small theaters of London, but here in the land of the fruits and nuts, it's pretty ho-hum.

I think the cast did the best they could with the adult parts, but the two adults who played children went overboard on the roller coaster of childish emotions. I wasn't sure whether the kids were supposed to just be immature or seriously retarded. The script didn't help them at all, but neither, I think, did the director.

There were a couple of train wrecks with lines, but this script had so many lines that there were bound to be some stepped on. The script is way too wordy, not nearly clever enough, and in the end, pointless.

The show plays at the Pear Avenue Theater off Shoreline Blvd. in Mountain View runs through the end of the month, details are on the Dragon Productions web site.

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