Friday, April 14, 2006

Oh to Be a Fly on That Wall...

David Hare’s Stuff Happens opened last night at the Public Theatre in New York, and I am sure that it will be praised by the theatre community as daring. However, as one insightful blogger pointed out, now that the President’s numbers are in the toilet and America is getting sick of this war, the idea of the play seems quaint.

The reviews seem to be pretty good. The Times and the Wall Street Journal perceive that the play, having been scaled down from a mammoth, "Olympian" London production, has actually shifted the focus to more of a beauracratic morality tale. Meaning that it appears, on second look, the play has more in common with Kenneth Lonergan’s Lobby Hero than with Shakespeare’s Henry plays.

What I am more interested in is the possible attendance of some of the figures involved. Colin Powell’s daughter is an actress and so he is at least tangentially interested in theatre. And we all know that Ms. Rice makes theatre going a priority, even over disastrous events. But come on, those tickets are expensive!

I certainly don’t expect Bush, Cheney or Rumsfeld, (who uttered the titular phrase in response to Iraqi looting,) to be logging onto Ticket Master. But now that the the play seems to focus on Colin Powell’s ethical conundrums, could it be possible that the playwright could have set his own Mousetrap!

Now, I don’t envision Mr. Powell running up the aisle screaming, "Lights!" However, it is fascinating and breathless to think that some of the "behind closed doors" scenes Mr. Hare has constructed could possibly "catch the conscience."

I wonder if we will get Stuff Happens here in Boston. Does it really matter? If it already seems old news to some people, how stale will it seem when it arrives in Boston a season or two on?

No comments: