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 Posted: Tue Mar 25th, 2008 06:00 pm
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BillySundae
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Studio Players, in Lexington, KY, put on Ladies at the Alamo by Paul Zindel this past weekend, and is performing it the next two weekends as well. But I hope no one sees it. It was AWFUL!

Part of the problem seemed to be the choices the actresses made in developing their characters. On the other hand, lines were dropped, cues missed and the pacing was SOOOOOOOOOOOOO SLOWWWWWWW Moreover, there must have been backstage problems of some sort: intermission lasted about 40 minutes (instead of the advertised 15 minutes); and at the end of the performance one of the actresses did not come out for the curtain call.

But the biggest problem with Paul Zindel's script was that it was anti-women, anti-gay, anti-mental health, anti-fat people and those are only the obvious negatives about the script. It was the first time I had been to a play ANYWHERE that I really wanted to get up and walk out on!

Still, I wasn't the only audience member who seemed troubled by the play. At intermission there wasn't the usual bubbly commentary about how good the play was. In fact, people seemed subdued. Applause could best be described as 'polite.' Laughter-- a staple of comedies-- was nearly absent. And after the play the audience filed quietly out into the night. I don't know that people didn't like the play for the same reasons I did, but clearly the play bombed in Lexington.

No doubt Ladies at the Alamo, which was written in the 1970's reflected sentiments of that time. But, why oh why any theatre would choose to produce this play in 2008 is well beyond my understanding. Maybe someone else has a different take on this play and can enlighten me a bit.

Last edited on Tue Mar 25th, 2008 06:03 pm by BillySundae

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 Posted: Tue Mar 25th, 2008 06:21 pm
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Edd
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Billie.

This is funny.  I started directing that play for a community theatre in New Mexico.  A week into rehearsal the ladies and I sat down and decided we were ashamed of what we were doing and chose to do another play, Come Blow Your Horn.   Alamo is based on a theatre where Zindel was in residence in Midland, TX.  He had a run-in with the board and had an ax to grind.   It was a "revenge" play--not a good reason to write a play, especially after you've already established yourself as a major American playwright.

We worked together one summer at Circle Rep in NYC in the late 1980s where we were each developing plays--I, Flowers out of Season and he, Amulets Against the Dragon Forces.  A very nice man and author of one of the most beautiful American plays I know--Marigolds.

~Edd

Last edited on Tue Mar 25th, 2008 07:03 pm by Edd

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 Posted: Tue Mar 25th, 2008 08:05 pm
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katoagogo
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BillySundae wrote:

No doubt Ladies at the Alamo, which was written in the 1970's reflected sentiments of that time. But, why oh why any theatre would choose to produce this play in 2008 is well beyond my understanding. Maybe someone else has a different take on this play and can enlighten me a bit.


I think this speaks to the need for quality ensemble work for adult women.

There are 5 or 6 standard plays (most very old -- as in the day of the "well-made-play").

I have a friend who writes specifically for female ensembles -- and there needs to be more. Teresa Rebeck can't do it all by herself.

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 Posted: Tue Mar 25th, 2008 09:24 pm
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BillySundae
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If the only alternative is a play like Ladies at the Alamo then Teresa Rebeck should write ensemble plays for women by herself.

The put-downs (and worse) of women and others in the play should be embarrasment enough. Don't allow such 'stuff' to be put on solely because it has 'good' roles for women. The risk folks run in putting on such plays is that the sterotypes that are at the 'heart' the play are accepted as 'truths' and it becomes that much harder for women to, as Dee Dee Myers would advocate, "rule the world."

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