Jump to content

Theatre of the New Ear


Recommended Posts

In preparation for our trip to NY, I picked up The New Yorker today. This was listed in the Theatre-Openings and Previews:

Theatre of the New Ear

Two new one-act radio plays, one written by Joel and Ethan Coen, the other by Charlie Kaufman, and both with original scores by Carter Burwell, star Steve Buscemi, Hope Davis, Meryl Streep, Philip Seymoue Hoffman, and others.(Arts at St. Anns, Brooklyn)

This may mean we have to see how hard it is to get there from Manhatten. Edited by Darrel Manson
A foreign movie can't be stupid.

-from the film
Armin

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 3 weeks later...
  • 3 months later...

Alert to people in Los Angeles area:

It's going to be at Royce Hall Sept. 14-16 with Hope Davis, Peter Dinklage, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Tom Noonan, Meryl Streep and David Thewlis

We're getting tix for Thurs. 59.gif

Edited by Darrel Manson
A foreign movie can't be stupid.

-from the film
Armin

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 3 weeks later...

Ok, I've seen it and you haven't. You should all be green with envy.

Actually the LA production differs a bit from the NY production, because the cast for the Coen Brothers play weren't available so they subbed the play "Anomalisa" written and directed by Francis Fregoli, who the program describes as "the pen-name of an established writter, who wishes to remain anonymous." (Quite possibly Kaufman) It was read by Jennifer jason Leigh, Tom Noonan and David Thewlis.

The set up: On stage there are musicians who do the live music. Center stage is the foley artist (who is a key part of the experience). 3 stools with microphones and script stands.

The first play (at least in the LA production) is an OK but not exceptional radio play with music and sound effects. It was your basic radio play. It was about a self-help book guy on road trip to do a seminar. He has an affair with a woman he meets at the hotel. Nothing special. In essense it's there to help set up the 2nd play.

After intermission: "Hope Leaves the Theater" by Kaufman. Hope Davis, Peter Dinklage and Meryl Streep take the stage (on the stools of course). This is the part that's interesting. It is typical (?) Kaufman mind game. Before the lights even go down, the three are beginning the performance, talking as if they were part of the audience talking about the first play and talking about the actors in the second play. In time they begin the "play proper" about some people in an elevator going so floor 2074 (or some such number), but kids have pushed the buttons for all the floors, so it's going to be slow. While all this is going on, they from time to time go back and forth between "play" characters and "audience" characters, especially Davis, who is playing a very neurotic unhappy woman stressing about everything in her life. Then they move on to breaking character yet again, playing themselves - not being themselves, but Streep playing the role of Streep. It ends as a reviewer is writing his review of the film, but with various circular time possibilites going on.

It's hard to tell if it's just flat out wonderful or just flat out pretensious. Part of the section where they are playing themselves, the talk a good deal about Kaufman's suicide - which of course brings a fair amount of laughter from the audience. Someone who had no idea of Kaufman's work would probably be wondering why people find his suicide so funny. I think it's really both wonderful and a bit pretensious -- but Kaufman is someone who seems to get away with such pretension pretty well.

Anomalisa: 35stars.gif

Hope Leaves the Theater: 50stars.gif

overall: 45stars.gif

Edited by Darrel Manson
A foreign movie can't be stupid.

-from the film
Armin

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

×
×
  • Create New...