Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Polite? Persephone

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I respect the efforts of creative people. It's hard to come up with something new and put it out there. It takes a lot of work and perseverance. Therefore I am not going to expand too much on the new show "Persephone" at BAM, out of kindness.

When I went to see Deerhouse a few weeks back, I came back with a well of questions about art and shows. What is nonsense? Is there good faith in art? What's a review? What is certainty?

Last night at BAM no questions  came swirling in my mind. Apart from: how many more seconds do we give this show to prove that it has a tiny spark of intelligence before we walk out? A minute nugget of meaning?

Uh. The projections were rather pretty.

The deconstruction of the play with actors and director seen behind the scenes is heavy handed. One of Julia Stiles' first line is:" the audience's going to think it's stupid. This is Brooklyn." Well, if the actors start reviewing the play in the first 2 minutes of the show...

I'll try to stay positive. Some of the acting in Persephone was bearable. The costumes were really quite pretty. A column near where we sat would hide Demeter from view from time to time.

If I covered my ears with my hands, the sound was less loud, the music less bland.

Below is a link to two people, the writer and composer, trying to make a convincing case the show has a meaning. Actually Ben Neil doesn't seem so sure, but is putting on a brave front.

There is one puzzling question: how does such a show make it to BAM? It must be some kind of machinery that, once it gets going, can not be stopped: the show gets a famous actress. The writer has gotten recognition in the past. The show gets financial backing. The show takes a lot of effort to put together. And finally, as what might seem a necessary last stage, is shown and seen. It is unfortunate that no one had the wisdom to stop this production at any of its various stages.

The NY Times reviewer is trying to be even more polite that I have been:


  1. Thank you. Not only was it boring junk, it was very expensive boring junk. And the sound "design" all but obliterated the words. Forget about the style, the director's intention, what the writer meant, Bad theater is...bad theater.

  2. Expensive.Thanks. I forgot to mention expensive. $100 down the drain, not counting the dry martini at Franks to drown the aftertaste.

  3. And I was trying to promote uncertainty. That all went out the window when I saw this show. I couldn't even explain it, but got, it was a gut level conviction that the show is a failure....