My original goal for tonight was to write a little about Plaza Suite that I saw the Lansing Civic Players perform last Sunday. I'll do that, but not quite in the way I had planned. Instead, I want to talk about what some of my colleagues are saying about last weekend's shows.
Mary Cusak at the City Pulse reviewed Plaza Suite. It's the first time that I've read one of her reviews and I'm quite impressed. Regardless of whether I agree with her or not (and I do on many, though not all, points), I like the way she writes. It's an excellently constructed review that is both interesting and fair. She supports each point with details and puts the show in a context that is relevant to people outside the theater community.
I look forward to reading more reviews by her--I hope she writes often.
Jim Fordyce also does an excellent job of getting out to see most of the shows in town and on providing some commentary on them. This is no small task. I found myself respectfully disagreeing with his comments this week on Scenes from an American Life, specifically with his criticism of the script. He wrote: "While the scenes are loosely tied together, this play is a little disjointed and while some scenes are compelling and/or funny. Others are confusing and pointless. "
While I would agree that the show is purposefully disjointed and that it is a matter of personal opinion what is compelling or confusing, I disagree that any of the scenes are pointless. One of the things that I found particularly compelling about the show as a whole was the way each and every scene underlined the overall theme. It wasn't always apparent immediately how they fit into the theme, but by the end of the play you could step back and see that each individual puzzle piece did indeed form a full picture, one whose effectiveness relied on the audience not getting the pictures in order.
I'd be curious how others feel about this who are familiar with the work.