March 25th, 2004


Two Plays

ART show on Sunday: The Birthday Party by Pinter. This was probably the show I've liked least at the ART this season (but they're still batting 100% for "lying on the floor some time during the show" - though not very much this time). As always, well acted, and well staged, but a little too surreal-without-being-funny for my taste. If I'm baffled, I would prefer to also be amused.

There was one bit of staging that I found incredibly effective, though. The play takes place in the large living-room area of an (incredibly bright green colored) boarding house [*]. In the second act, there are some ominous sounds, and the side walls begin to creep inwards. Over the course of the second act, first a little and later in larger amounts, they continue to creep in, first to the edges of the furniture, and then pushing the furniture before them, crowding everything into the center. That was the thing I was most moved by in the entire play - it was a very compelling visual statement of Things Closing In, Possibilities Closing Off... very creepy.

The Lyric Stage show was The Mercy Seat, a well-done two-person one-act. The characters aren't very sympathetic, but their horrible dysfunctional tangle was pretty believable. The Lyric staged it in the round - I think that's the first time I've seen them do that - but I'm not sure what that brought to it. Since the play is pretty much all two people shouting at each other, you could only see one of them at a time. On the other hand, I suppose conventional staging does tend to mean there's two people shouting about thirty degrees off of each other, which might not be realistic, but I don't notice it so much.

And then tirinian managed to divert most of the mob to Argana, in Inman Square, for dinner, which was fun. We finished that just after 11, which meant his nefarious plan to go to Christina's after that was thwarted, however. I had "mrouive" or something like that, braised lamb with lots of dried fruit and honey - very reminiscent of the Persian food justom and I made for 'al Jabaran dinner years ago, where everything had extra meat and apricots. "Vegetable Rice Pilaf" with a pound of ground beef and a pound of apricots...
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