Friday, August 03, 2007

Old Acquaintance: 08/02/2007

After years of steady diet of The Wooster Group, Richard Foreman, Big Art Group, Soho Rep, etc., the Roundabout Theatre's production of Old Acquaintance seems positively avant-guarde – not that it is, of course, but it just has almost nothing that I love about the theater in it. The play, which probably seemed dated ten years after it was written, now almost seventy years later seems practically prehistoric. In fact my experience watching the show was not dissimilar to a trip to the Museum of Natural History observing an extinct species. Other than wanting to know what a 1940's equivalent to the sit-com was, there is little reason for reviving this play. Now, all that said – I didn't really have a terrible time at Old Acquaintance, mostly thanks to its two leading ladies Margaret Colin giving a mature, grounded performance and Harriet Harris' hilariously over-the-top antics. Cory Stoll has charm and it swell to look at, but the rest of the cast doesn't even have that. I wish there had been a director's note in the program – or even more importantly an Artistic Director's note explaining why they chose to do this play.

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