Friday, December 15, 2006

an oak tree

an oak tree is a theatrical conceit and nothing more. In this play (and I use the term loosely), two actors play the parts of a grief-stricken father and the hypnotist who accidentally killed his daughter. The hypnotist is always played by Tim Crouch, who also wrote the play, but the role of the father is played by a new actor (or actress) every night. The second actor has never seen or read the play, and gets all of their lines through sight readings, an ear piece or directly from Mr. Crouch. At the performance I attended, the wonderful Lili Taylor was the father. It amazed me how natural she was with brand-new material and reminded me just how brilliant she is. Sadly, the show is far from brilliant; it is sound and fury signifying nothing.

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