Theater Is That Frizzelle Over There Behind Mary McCarthy?
posted by July 14 at 18:05 PMon
When one knows deeply that he is wrong, as Mr. Frizzelle does, there is nothing to be done but to insult the enemy and hide behind an older writer.
Not being wrong myself, I don’t mind elaborating. Mr. Kiley writes this:
Angela Pierce as Blanche gives a slick, orthodox performance, and sails through Blanche’s late-play mad scenes without succumbing to the crazy-person caricature that has wrecked so many Blanches, Ophelias, and Lears.
This is exactly right for the first nine words. Then it veers into Frizzelle Territory: Wrongton. Pierce breaks into caricature several times in her late-play mad scenes, what with the squawking and the squalling. This is what ruins Blanche at Intiman.
Stanley’s fine, if you don’t mind him grunting while he picks up his women as though he can’t handle them. Kiley sees this as a nod to his humor and vulnerability; I see it as the equivalent of farting onstage and trying to hide it. If he’s doing it for effect, I’d really like to see other signs of vulnerability in the interpretation, and there are none.
Stella: She’s a rock. Stella has never seemed so solid and so desperate at once. I loved her. Wanted to be her friend. Wanted to take her away from all this. Wanted to be a new kind of Stanley for her. Do with that what you will.
As for the sound design: Mr. Frizzelle, they played the horrible, horrible music every five secs. Aren’t you going a little easy on the hometown heroes? And, while we’re at it: Should we trust your take on Streetcar when your take is essentially that it’s great because it doesn’t suck the way you expected it to?