Thursday, June 18, 2009
File this under "Be careful what you ask for."
When the Mark Taper Forum announced their current season schedule Anton Chekov's "Uncle Vanya" was slated for the early summer slot. I'm not a Chekov fan -- the writing is way to dry to hold my attention, so I was happy when the announcement was made that "Uncle Vanya" was out and David Mamet's "Oleanna" was in.
(This was clearly another example of cost-cutting at the Center Theater Group, which programs the Mark Taper Forum. With a cast of two, "Oleanna" is clearly cheaper to produce than a Chekov ensemble piece.)
Anywho, I went to see "Oleanna" Saturday night and this play is clearly David Mamet at his absolute worst. The dialogue is so repetitive and comprised of three word sentences it almost seems like a parody of Mamet.
Within five minutes I was ready to walk out. Mercifully, the show clocks in at 90 minutes with no intermission so at least my entire Saturday night wasn't ruined.
"Didn't like it." "The play?" "The Mamet play?" "Tough to sit through." "The play?" "Yes, Mamet's..." "His play?" "Couldn't take it." "Oleanna?" "Please shoot me." "With a gun?" "Yes, this gun here." "To shoot you?" "Yes, with the gun."