Sunday, June 1, 2008

A Stream of Consciousness on "Inner Voices"

- The Zipper Factory Theatre is one of the more unique performance spaces I've seen in my life. Great is the confusion Roxie and I have upon entering the lobby. Or bar. (It's both. This is a bit unusual and really cool). Looks like we're waiting for the rave to begin. (Roxie: "Oh didn't you read about that. I brought glowsticks.")

- House opens. General admission. You can pick your own seating. In this case the minivan bench of your choice. (Whaaa?) The atmosphere is more that of an acting conservatory than say a theatre. Has that black box meets thrust stage quality about it.

- Victoria Clark is one of the most superlative talents on the NY stage.

- OMG. Victoria Clark is in a nightgown and playing a character at three distinctively different phases of her life. She's incredibly genuine as an eleven year old pre-pubescent. The work is musically and dramatically fascinating. Probably the first thirty-minute, three-act play I've ever seen.

- Roxie and I are six feet away from Victoria Clark. I imagine it's akin to what it's like to be looking into the face of God.

- Tres Ninas is offering Victoria Clark a chance to play a fascinatingly self-destructive divorced alcoholic mother of two who has sex with someone half her age.

- OMFG. That was an orgasm. Strange feeling of deja vu hits...

- Catharsis. Supreme acting through song. Clark has a gift when it comes to subtext and giving a layered, complex performance. The woman to my right is an absolute emotional wreck. And rightly so. The audience gives her a Routledge (mid-show standing ovation). She exits. She is missed already. My neck hurts. It's the damn van seat.

- The woman in front of us looks like Liz Smith. Is that her?

- What the hell is this girl wearing? Okay. This is the girl from Spring Awakening. It's Alice Unwrapped. There's a vamp. I'm already bored. Bring back Vicki.

- So the girl is one of those delusionally weird teens who prides herself on being different. Her dad is in Iraq. This cannot be ending well.

- Dad is missing. Mom goes depressive. Daughter goes delusional. Younger sister sounds like an irritating know-it-all who deserves to be slapped.

- The composer really enjoys Bill Finn.

- This is starting to get tedious. Do we really need thirty minutes to cover what probably should be a ten-minute one-act?

- I would love to hear Victoria Clark's take on the "Duet for One" from 1600. And see her play Alice Challice in Darling of the Day. She can do anything.

- Jennifer Damiano seems like she needs more time in acting school. Or she should be in the house for Victoria Clark to see how you tell a story, create a complex character and captivate an audience all by your lonesome. Then again, Clark also teaches... hmm...

- Is Bill Finn aware of this?

- Okay, so the little girl is the one who's mind is still with it. I'm starting to think this story would be more interesting if it came from her perspective. Or the mom's. Anyone but this girl.

- More vamping.

- I think Bill Finn should sue...

- Okay. She takes off the vest. An interesting concept is marred by poor writing and poor execution. Polite applause. Slight headache. I guess that's what a thirty minute rip-off of "Passover" from Elegies will do to you.

- Bring back Vicki Clark. Is that Liz Smith? I still can't tell.

- Ohh. Here's Barbara Walsh. It's A Thousand Words Come to Mind. I'm captivated from the way she puts down her handbag.

- Oh my. Mom is dying. This isn't going to end well either.

- I've never seen Barbara Walsh perform before. Now I want to see everything she does from here on out.

- She manages to be quite affecting in disclosing the nature of her relationship with her mother. All the while revealing oh so much about herself in the process. Now that is effective acting.

- Ooh. This has a literary angle. The mom tells her daughter she was the inspiration for a character in Philip Roth's The Human Stain. Mom starts to learn of her mother for the first time in her life.

- Um.. Mom is dying. Someone in the upper decks shrieks with laughter. Let the awkward times roll... Walsh blazed on unfazed. We turn back to Walsh, fazed.

- Borders? What the hell? Sorry. Bizarre loyalty to B&N.

- Barbara Walsh should be the next Vera in Mame. Her ability to be wry and dry is succinct. But she is also so damn touching. Damiano should stick around for this master class too. I have a sudden desire to see Walsh and Clark work opposite each other. And I want to see Walsh play Charlotte in A Little Night Music.

- The mom has died. Time for the denouement. We discover that she was a frustrated writer who never realized her dreams. Daughter understands her now more than ever. They've finally connected.

- The letter from Philip Roth. Exactly the satisfactory touch the audience wanted. Many sighs from all over.

- My neck pain has spread into a tension headache. All from that awkward seating. Time to go.

- No, it isn't Liz Smith.

4 comments:

aculman said...

"Her ability to be wry and dry is succinct. But she is also so damn touching."

You should have seen her Trina.

Theatre Aficionado at Large said...

I wish I could have - or that there was an official document of her performance, of which I've only heard raves.

SarahB said...

I knew it was dangerous to let you in that theatre with La Clark in nothing but a slip.

Landice Anderson said...

I'm very, very late on this but what a touching blog. Also, hilarious and just... wow. Fantastic job, Kevin!