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REVIEWS

Two Gentlemen of Verona, by WIlliam Shakespeare
Pure disappointment. If you like that - you're irreversible optimist.
Tuesday, July 23, 2002
0.0
Guys, I’m not a professional theater critic or something, I’m just a viewer and what I write is not a review, but rather a viewer’s feedback. It’s good in a way, because I’m not going to be apologetic or try to get good reviewer rating by being yet another yes-man here, or putting crap-bag of adjectives like “powerful, exuberant, yet tender” type of review. I've seen my fair share of plays, not recently though. Since moving to Atlanta about four years ago I only saw couple of things, before going to GFS’s “Two Gents” two days ago. I thought I would revive my good old habit of theater going. Huh, may be, but not after what I saw. Well, although entire cast is a more or less screw-up, Protheus guy was simply laughable. Yes, he did good job in making few-centuries-old text understandable. As for his acting – that’s got to be! He had not a slightest idea how being dramatic is different from behaving just neurotic and loud. Man, that was annoying! I hope having him sing was supposed to look ironic, otherwise I want 3 hours of my life back. Lady playing Julia was almost as bad as him. I noticed that it’s customary on this board to “elaborate” on details, like my wing-leader Dedalus does, but I don’t know how I can point out some concrete flaws in bad acting. It’s just a bad acting. What I CAN do, however, is to remind about an old Stanislavky’s reality-check formula, who said to poor acting fellow: “I don’t believe you!”. Probably Stanislavky could elaborate more too. Among the entire crew I could only believe Duke character, then couple older guys: one in a wheelchair and one taking care of him, and Mr. Crab the dog. Audience responded to his acting the best, btw. Other things. “Minimalist” set, including only a few mock-up walls, is just what one needs to make a stage for Renaissance-age comedy. Don’t bother yourself with music or fancy costumes - simple plot where one guy betrays his friend and bride will do everything. With all due respect to Shakespeare’s genius, the plot of the play itself can’t evoke much of the laugh and tears. (If you want to argue with this seemingly unrespectful remark, write a play with approximately same plot and try to sell it to anybody.) Nowadays it’s a director’s job to make us laugh and cry while watching Shakespeare’s comedies. And the director fails miserably here. Gee, what a joke. Some reviewers suggest that one would have to appreciate the amount of effort cast and crew has put into it, but that’s nonsense. This talent-less school-play deserves the pity, not an appreciation. I hope it was a one-time failure for GSF. I’m going to figure it out soon.

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