Monday, March 05, 2012

From The Hood - Parabasis:

As StageGrade noted, the critical reaction to this play has been...well...difficult to pin down. I read through the reviews after I saw the show and I can't put my finger on exactly what happened. But they clearly didn't see the show I saw. Some of the criticisms are completely legit: the actors talk furiously fast and loose and in a southern accent/patois that is sometimes hard to decipher. To Katori's credit, there's no glossary or anything in the program. She just expects you to catch up. That's a good thing. But it seems to left some critics out in the cold. Even the critics who liked it seem to struggle with the play, comparing it to plays that it bears only the most superficial resemblance to...or rather, comparing Katori to playwrights that she bears a superficial resemblance to. I was glad to see that one critic mentioned The Lower Depths, which seems more apt. Another play leapt to my mind: The Cherry Orchard. Katori is giving us a snapshot of a world that's about to change, and probably not for the better, at least for the characters we see. In the face of looming, inevitable change and loss, they struggle to carry on. It's a pretty basic human story. And still powerful.