Date: Fri, 10 May 2002 10:38:05 -0700
From: LaRhee Webster
Subject: crystal valley
last night was really fun. I really, really liked your play. My gosh, it even had a plot you could follow!
I think it has changed a lot since the much earlier version I read somewhere along the line. When did you first write it? Junior year? I can't remember.
Anyway, you were so lucky to have such a talented director do it. It was obviously a happy marriage of talents, each working to bring out the best.
I loved the casting. It was absolutely perfect. The black guy was fabulous as Fox. Loved his costume, his little body movements... Great job! (Applause!)
You see, when I first read it, I though he was an actual Fox, and maybe he was in the script. but the interpretation was just perfect. ...just enough off the wall to be entertaining.
And Go...he was straight out of Monty Python. He even looked (on purpose, I'm sure) like one of the British comedians. Sorry, i can't think of a name. But the suit, slicked back hair, goofy smile, overexaggerated expressions...even a hint of a silly-walk...made him perfect! Again, great casting, great costuming. (Applause!)
Serenity had the mannerisms of Lucy of I Love Lucy! Her squeaky voice, stance, body movement, pidgin toes...puffy skirt...perfect for the part. (Applause!)
So...i see hints of many influences on the writing and the staging...marx bros, Lucile Ball, Monty Python, Scooby Doo (yes, there was a ghost), SNL, and general mayhem via Nicholeodean's goofiest shows. Brittany said Serenity reminded her of a video game character. That's not surprising, since I think the original script was modeled on video game characters wasn't it?
The staging was suburb. The crosswalk was truly all it needed. The gratuitous dance sequence just furthered the controlled randomness of the whole thing. Plus, the guy was really good! Very entertaining.
So, it's the kind of thing you would write for TV. Now, there's a career for you! You should try to get it produced somewhere else... Wingspread? How about a fund raiser for PACT sometime?
Anyway...about the rest of the 'camp'. I really liked the first piece. It was innovative, fresh, had some nicely written lines here and there, and a very nice mix of media that really worked without drawing attention to itself. It tackled a very difficult subject (What is theatre, anyway?) and didn't die from the sheer weight of drying to deal with it. It was a bit long, and truly, some of the dialog could have been cut without loosing anything. but overall, a very nicely done piece. (Applause!)
The movies were...well....ummmmm, I guess you would say 'special'. I guess high-gain video is in style right now. Let's just say that I've seen a lot of really good student film, yes it was a long time ago, but...well, these didn't really measure up. I could discuss it further if you really wanted, but..... (Polite applause.)
The PCA's were a hoot! 'nuf said. (Cheers & whistles!)
The second play...oh boy. Too long between pickup of lines. Draggy. Could really have been cut to 20 min. and been much more effective. The dad, jacob, dies at the end? is this a flashback? What was that about? The actor was great as jacob.... but that scene looked like an afterthought. There were some nicely written lines here and there, but that particular subject...life without daddies participation and approval,...is a much overworked subject. Breathing new life and a fresh view on the subject is difficult. We did get to watch the characters develop, which was nice, but again...you can develop characters without being quite so draggy. It was also unfair to stage that play right after the first one. Tooooo much heavy drama. Brain goes tilt!......snore.....! (Applause because it's over.)
OK...the theatre was too warm. It was too easy to go to sleep. The chairs suck bigtime! I found them really uncomfortable and by back ached when we finally out out. Nobody shared my opinion on that, so I guess that's a one-of.
The whole night was way too long. The first piece with a couple films could easily have been a night in itself. Ditto for the second piece and films. The thing outside? What was that about? That came off as theatre in its worst...as in...that kind of stuff is why people hate theatre. It's not even worth mentioning except that it was a nice break go get outside and get some fresh air. (polite clapping here.)
So, how was the last piece? I felt so bad leaving. The poor writer/actors. nobody was left to see it. I hope they move it to the front for another night. he/she disserves it. You'll have to tell me about it. As it was, we got home at 12:30...which is a little late when you have to get up at 6:30 the next morning.
OK..gotta get to work now. I have your vitamins. I guess you can pick them up when you come.