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The Playwrights Forum > Critic's Corner > Reviews and Critiques > New York: "Jerusalem," "Arcadia"

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Louisep at Playwrights Muse
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I was in New York with my husband for a week, and I saw several plays. Two I really recommend are "Jerusalem" and "Arcadia."

"Jerusalem" was phenomenal. Mark Rylance in the lead was unrecognizable (in a good way). The script is wonderful and doesn't overstate its point.

"Arcadia" was also wonderful. Not all of the acting was good, but most of it was splendid, and the script -- well, it's Stoppard, what can you say?

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I got a chance to see "Jerusalem" too - I just blew a ton of cash on a NYC Arts Tour through my college, saw "Warhorse", "The Motherf*cker with the Hat", "Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo", "Peter & Wendy", "The Intelligent Homosexual's Guide to Captialism and Socialism with a Key to the Scriptures" (Tony Kushner's new play in development), "Jerusalem", and "The Lion King". It was my first time seeing theatre in a big city and it was quite the heady experience. We also got to go backstage on "The Lion King", and our class got to have a private talk with Oskar Eustis (!) in Central Park who took us us to see a rehersal in process at the Delacourt, because my theatre professor is awesome and has connections. Though I think I made Mr. Eustis uncomfortable because I asked him a question about the similarities in "The Intelligent Homosexual's Guide..." and Mr. Eustis's personal life, i.e. if Kushner was drawing on that for inspiration.       

I was thinking about seeing "Acradia" as well, being that it's one of my favorite scripts, but deterred by reviews that called the production miscast and misguided, so I decided to see "Bengal Tiger" instead but was underwhelmed. "Jerusalem" and "The Intelligent Homosexual's Guide..." were definetly the stand-outs on the trip and the hype surrounding Rylance is very much justified.

[!]JERUSALEM SPOILER[!]

So at the end of "Jerusalem", the rumbling, what do you think - was it the giants or the bulldozer? 

         

Last edited on Sat Jun 4th, 2011 02:55 pm by QuixotesGhost

Louisep at Playwrights Muse
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"Arcadia" had its problems, definitely. But I loved it. This production found all of the passion these characters feel. Brilliant.

I thought Robin Williams was hopelessly miscast. I hated his work. The script in general, I liked.

I also saw "The Normal Heart." Unabashed polemic, of course, but very well done.




[!]JERUSALEM SPOILER[!]

The giants. Most definitely. Actually, I never even thought it was bulldozers until I read your post.

What do you think?

Last edited on Sat Jun 4th, 2011 05:30 pm by Louisep at Playwrights Muse

QuixotesGhost
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Actually concerning "Bengal", I thought Williams turned in a fine performance, and the Turkish Translator was great, but I had problems with the script and I really didn't like the actors playing the two American soldiers. What qualities did you feel an actor should have taken to Williams' role that Williams failed to?

 

 

[!]Jerusalem Spoiler[!]

Considering that the title references William Blake, I felt the play was about the death of English pastoralism of which Blake was so fond. So I felt that the audience was supposed to immediately assume that the rumbling was the giants, but upon further introspection conclude that it was instead the bulldozer. Giving the ending, and Rooster by extension, a heartbreaking, bittersweet, quixotic tone.

 

Louisep at Playwrights Muse
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About Robin Williams -- I thought he played only one emotion, one level of energy, one level of stakes, during the entire performance. Basically, he played himself. I would have liked to have seen much more variance in his work.

in media res
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Thanks. I think we all will appreciate it.

Gary Garrison is just the right guy at just the right time.

WE have a very active "local" here in Chicago.

IMR

Last edited on Wed Jun 15th, 2011 01:09 am by in media res

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I've been catching up to my reading lately and stumbled upon Jerusalem's text - loved it. Normally, these types of weak-plot plays I dislike but the lead character's voice is so distinct/compelling and you are constantly wonder what he's about to do next.

I may have read 100+ plays in 2011 and must say Jerusalem is probably top-3 simply for the originality/zaniness without being cartoonish like in a TV skit.



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