Thursday, October 05, 2006

When in Doubt...

I love situations where reviewers, who were sitting in the same audience, seem to have seen two completely different shows:

Here is the Seattle Weekly on the Seattle Rep's production of John Patrick Shanley's Doubt:

Everything that could go wrong with this edgy, risky work—and plenty could— goes perfectly right, resulting in a performance that carries an emotional and intellectual wallop that reverberates long after the final curtain. Deftly avoiding easy sentimentality and ham-fisted moralism, director Warner Shook stages Shanley's play with grace, confidence, and fierce economy....

At every turn, Doubt foils audience expectations—each moment shades to gray. And it's not only the play's central question that remains unanswered and steeped in uncertainty.

And here is Brendan Kiley in The Stranger:

The problem with Doubt as a production at the Seattle Rep is that there's too little of it...

...the audience member sitting in the Rep is too sure of everything—the direction (by the usually impeccable Warner Shook) and the muddled acting telegraph the conclusion from the first scene. To confirm my suspicions, I asked my date, who knew nothing about Doubt, at what point she figured out whether Father Flynn was guilty: "Oh, from the very beginning," she said. "The rest was obvious."

I guess this would be a case where you should see for yourself.

As a side note: I like Doubt, but "edgy"? and "risky?" C'mon Seattle Weekly, you know better than that.

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