Saturday, September 11, 2010

Stones In His Pocket, Public Playhouse (Grade B)

By Marie Jones
Director Michael Mendelson

Cast:  Dustin Milberg as Charlie &  Christopher David Murray as Jake

At CoHo Theater 2257 NW Raleigh, Portland Oregon  -- Sept 10, to Oct 2, 2010

sez says: This play requires tremendous dexterity from the actors. Milberg and Murry must portray 15 different characters--and they do it so well that they make it look easy: a turn of the head and a new person appear, or a step is taken in one direction, there is a short halt, and seamlessly another character appears.  At times there were dances of twists and turns that accompanied a bouncing back and forth between characters: Very impressive stuff,  indeed fun to watch and well done.  Not just any one could pull this off but Milberg and Murry proved they have the required skill.

The play itself is about lots of things and it is simply laid out. What is the impact of Hollywood on people's dreams?  What happens to traditional cultural when it comes face to face with the dream makers and fakers? Who is responsible for telling / remembering truth?   It is not deep--or complex--but it is honest and it has entertainment value.  I certainly would not hesitate from recommending it to kith and kin.

But I do have a gripe. And I would ask anyone who sees it to think about this: Why are the women characters so hideous?  Is it necessary to the story?  The first  time a female character appeared I thought the character being portrayed was a send-up of a fastidious gay man who was working on the set. As it turns out the character is an impatient she, who is generally hysterical and unkind. Similarly the 'famous actress' was played as if she were a drag queen.  Both of these characters were set-up as entirely unattractive people.  I am not sure that this was in the script.  There is no question that the skill of the actors would have allowed them to play these characters in a variety of ways. So it must have been the director who wanted it this way.  It would be interesting to read the script and to see if the author intended the misogyny that was displayed.  I suspect not. I'd have to get a copy of the script to really answer this question . But it seemed a curious and sorry aspect of an otherwise good show.

1 comment:

  1. We're hoping to see this very soon. Our family spent a year in Ireland, and we enjoy anything that deals with that country. I wonder, have you seen Waking Ned Devine? It addresses some of the themes you identify here - the impact on a small rural Irish population not by Hollywood, but by making a fortune in the lottery. Very fun!