Saturday, January 27, 2007

A Spanish Play

What do you get when you combine a talented ensemble cast, an acclaimed playwright and a well-respected actor/director at the helm? One hot mess of a show. Yasmina Reza's A Spanish Play, at Classic Stage Company under John Tuturro's misguided direction, is a fuck up the likes that only CSC can produce. Nearly everything about it is wrong, from the horribly bright and unimaginative lighting to the backstage videos that are interspersed throughout the play. Tuturro shows his weakness as a director by allowing his actors to languish aimlessly around the stage with no apparent direction, and even has the great Zoe Caldwell deliver a monologue staring at the wall with her back to the audience, for no reason whatsoever. With the exception of Denis O'Hare, who applies his usual annoying schtick, the cast is in fine form; I was especially taken by Katherine Borowitz, who plays an unsure actress playing an unsure actress. But aside from that, everything else is a bust; this misexecution should be the final nail in the coffin of Brian Kulick's disastrous reign as artistic director of CSC.

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