Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Feingold Zingers

Here are a few from his most recent reviews of the Broadway All My Sons and Adam Rapps new play Kindness.

  • Some people can't leave well enough alone. Simon McBurney, who staged the new Broadway production of Arthur Miller's 1947 drama All My Sons, has built his directorial style out of fussing and overdoing; it calls so much attention to itself that snobs often mistake it for art.

  • All My Sons, which literally brings the violence of war into the bosom of the crooked arms manufacturer's family, doesn't need any audio-visual help in spilling its American guts; it was written for a tradition in which actors did that as a matter of course. Miller's story, with its corporate profiteering, deniability, and plea deals, is as up-to-date as Dick Cheney's desk calendar

  • He shouldn't be blamed, I imagine, for Katie Holmes's performance in the key role of the dead son's fiancée: Her mechanical line readings, getting hollower as the play's emotional pitch escalates, suggest that Broadway has at last discovered that long-held commercial producers' dream: the android actress.

  • The sheer neo-Romantic negativity of Rapp's vision saves it from being sentimental; his plays would be kitsch if cable TV offered a Deathtime channel.

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