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Speech & Debate - Qualified Perceptions
firstfrost
firstfrost
Speech & Debate
I had been wondering, recently, if I was losing my interest in theater. I've lost interest in other things - I don't play Assassin or board games any more, I don't watch much televsion. A lot of the plays I've seen recently haven't really grabbed me, and a lot of the plays I've seen with other people, they've been, mmm, less critical than I was. So maybe I was just burning out on theater? That would be sad.

Speech and Debate at the Lyric Stage really grabbed me. I have not sheerly enjoyed a play that much in a long time.

My metric continues to be Noel Coward: "I will accept anything in the theatre . . . provided it amuses or moves me. But if it does neither, I want to go home."

Maybe I'm moved less than I should be. Endgame, for me, was "It's the end of the world and he's keeping his parents in garbage cans until they die, but it's okay, because since none of the characters are believable people, you don't really care." And I didn't care - didn't care that it was a seminal work by a master playwright, or that the actors are brilliant (and they are!), or that the Boston Globe said that the show was exhilarating. It didn't move me, and it didn't amuse me, and then I went home.

But, my goodness, Speech and Debate amused me greatly, and moved me quite a bit. The characters were only exaggerated enough to be a bit larger than life without being wrong for high schoolers, and the main actors were amazing and completely unknown to me.

I tend to stand in ovations because everyone else already has, and it feels petty to remain seated just because the play wasn't to my own taste. This time I didn't have to wait for anyone else to stand up first, and it's nice to have a show, maybe every few years, that I want to leap to my feet for.

Current Mood: sleepy sleepy

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desireearmfeldt From: desireearmfeldt Date: April 2nd, 2009 02:11 pm (UTC) (Link)
I too have found myself leaving the theatre more often than not wondering why I never seem to find any plays to fall in love with any more these days. :(

I think Blackbird would have been more gripping had we been sitting a little further back. :) I found it pretty engaging, but the (non)ending was a let-down.

I enjoyed Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, but I'm concluding that I find Tennessee Williams a bit dated and hyperbolic (ah, the sting of being A Classic!) and there were some acting/directing choices I might have done differently. Plus, noticing the fact that the actors were all valiantly fighting off some sort of Cast Plague was kind of distracting. :)

The problem with theatre subscriptions is that you're nearly guaranteed to have some shows that don't appeal (I find this is true with both Lyric and Huntington -- but there's a reason I don't subscribe to ART, and it's that I think the majority of their shows wouldn't appeal to me).
From: tirinian Date: April 2nd, 2009 02:17 pm (UTC) (Link)
Yeah, I had season tickets to Speakeasy last year, but didn't renew them this season because too many of the shows didn't interest me. I mostly expect 1-2 Lyric shows a year that I'm Just Not Fond Of, and 1-2 that are Pleasant Surprises I Wouldn't Have Seen Without A Subscription, and that makes the subscription worth it, on balance.
firstfrost From: firstfrost Date: April 2nd, 2009 02:18 pm (UTC) (Link)
Yeah, I expect to have some stuff I don't care for (the Lyric nearly always has something that's too stupid-funny instead of clever-funny for me, the ART has a lot of "What the hell was that?")... but this is the first year that I just haven't enjoyed *any* of the ART shows very much (which, if the ART marketing director is reading this, I love your actors and I love your lighting, I just don't love bleak or completely inexplicable!)
remcat From: remcat Date: April 2nd, 2009 04:22 pm (UTC) (Link)
Is there something new that has taken over the time/interest that used to be plays/games/TV?
firstfrost From: firstfrost Date: April 2nd, 2009 04:36 pm (UTC) (Link)
Well, plays still take up the same amount of time. I do feel like I'm less generally excited about everything than I used to be, is part of it.

For games, it's that I stopped being competitive, so I don't get a lot of warm fuzzies from beating my friends, and I specifically don't enjoy being beaten by them. And I don't like the bitter recriminations phase that the more complicated games have. I still like RPGs, because they're more of a cooperative endeavor. Knitting and reading and computer games and livejournal and zephyr and RPGs such probably take up the time that TV might have had. But it's all been slowly shifting priorities, so it's hard to point at a particular hour and say "Well, *that* used to be Babylon 5, and now it's knitting."
arcanology From: arcanology Date: April 2nd, 2009 05:31 pm (UTC) (Link)
Oh yes. Save me from the whining phase (or multiple whining phases) that so many board games have.
countertorque From: countertorque Date: April 2nd, 2009 11:33 pm (UTC) (Link)
Having to spend the whole game listening to how badly everyone else is losing and how stupid I'm being by not beating up on a particular person does get tiresome.
From: bakedweasels Date: April 3rd, 2009 04:44 pm (UTC) (Link)
just play with earplugs
ironrat From: ironrat Date: April 2nd, 2009 11:51 pm (UTC) (Link)
Huh, as I've grown up, I feel like I enjoy the bitter recriminations phase more...
twe From: twe Date: April 3rd, 2009 12:48 am (UTC) (Link)
Well, there are always the cooperative games that Andrew likes. I've only played Pandemic, but it's enjoyable.
From: tirinian Date: April 3rd, 2009 03:36 am (UTC) (Link)
Pandemic still has countries in it. :-)
twe From: twe Date: April 3rd, 2009 03:00 pm (UTC) (Link)
Pandemic has cities.
kirisutogomen From: kirisutogomen Date: April 5th, 2009 10:49 pm (UTC) (Link)
Given that crayon rail games count as having countries, I think what firstfrost is really concerned about is maps.
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