So . . . very . . . confused

It is 8:30 in the morning. I just got home from work. So, its official, I'm a night shift-er. Went to see " The Pillowman" last night at ACT Theatre w/ Bill and Cam. The show got out at 10:15, and I went to work. Trippy to say the least, and if I thought being in a bank vault underground was creepy during daylight hours, it is even more so in the dead of the night. Thankfully the three other people with whom I work are pretty cool, and the time went by relatively quickly.

So, "The Pillowman." There was a
lot of hype surrounding the show so, needless to say, my expectations were high. I thought the script was pretty good--not so deserving of all of the praise being lavished upon it--but pretty good. I thought the acting and direction were befitting of a regional theater (there's no Billy Crudup or Jeff Goldblum to give instant weight or credibility). The lighting and set design were perfect.
When we entered the theater, which is a theater in the round, a large concrete (looking) box took up nearly the entire stage. When the show began, it dropped to about a foot along its perimeter exposing a prisoner in his cell. The story is bascially that of a writer imprisoned by a totalitarian government accused of murdering three children. The children's deaths are similar to stories he has written, and it turns out his retarded brother killed them. So that's a really basic overview.
Because the story exists in some alternate dimension, we are given the ability to believe a bit more of the outlandish events that occur. My problem wasn't, however, with the story's absurdities. It was with this production's inability to lasso the tone of the piece. When you're working a black comedy, everyone needs to be on the same page--or everyone needs to be under the thumb of a very astute director. There were sparkling moments of revelation in this production, but more often than not, the performances were timid.
It was this timidity that made the show hard to digest. Matthew Floyd Miller as the lead, Katurian, could not pull off the bravado of an author who has written 400 stories (only one of which was published). Shawn Telford as the retarded brother channeled PeeWee Herman and was more a cipher than character in a play. The two police detectives had moments of complete understanding that almost made up for the their younger counterparts inexperience.
For an almost 3 hour play, this production held my attention, and I can't recommend enough getting up, getting out, and doing something different, like supporting local theater.
I get to review ACT's next production, "Miss Witherspoon" by Christopher Durang, for Seattlest.
Speaking of Seattlest, I've got a new one up.

Wow, I was going to post more--about boys from the past, my stupid version of "news" and some other stuff, but I think I'm finally starting to fade. Guess I'll just have more to post this week.
Good night--which is in the morning.

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