Friday, April 29, 2011

Pony & Woyzeck at About Face Theatre & The Hypocrites

Opening April 10 - May 22nd and running in Repertory is About Face Theatre's world premiere production of Sylvan Oswald's play “Pony” directed by Bonnie Metzger and The Hypocrites production of Georg Buchner's “Woyzeck” adapted and directed by Sean Graney.

Both plays focus on someone removed from society who will push themselves past their comfort zones for money regardless of the harm to themselves while others see it as furthering scientific research.

The man difference between the two is that with “Woyzek” you have a show that tries to say something even though it has flaws in both the story and in the production and with “Pony” you have a flawed production that in the end doesn't really say anything or feel like it's about anything.

In Pony you have a poorly written show that feels like the author kept his netflix copy of “Boys Don't Cry” for far too long and watched it a lot in order to come up with story points.

The show started with a is so or isn't she insane Kristina Valada-Viars in a lake reenacting a murder that place at a lake. You start to find yourself not caring is she's insane or nor due to the writing and bad performance. It's as if the directed pieced together sentences thought the play without finding a way to connect them into mean, thought, or even a decent script. I'm hoping that given the right material Kelli Simpkins (Pony) could do a better job as she's good with what she has to do. As for the rest of the cast it seems like they are either over playing their cliches or underplaying to a point that you have no interest in them at out and for two house that can be painful.

As I stayed for the second show The Hypocrities production of “Woyzeck” I was nervous as the other almost put me into sleep however with as much as they tried to though at you I felt like I just had 12 red bulls all at one time. They are a theater company that does not believe in subtly. You want singing, check, dancing, check, blood, check, stage fighting, check, enough illusions Brecht, Weill, and Sweeney Todd, check, check, and check. You will see all of that and much more in the course of 60 minutes.

The show opened with Woyzeck dressed up as a mysterious lab assistant cleaning up the floor while the audience took to their seats and you saw in those moments with him looking at the audience the fire raging within as he did nothing about it. That anger and passion in seemed to be growing with every scene to it exploded in a violent and bloody way.

I thought as the central leads Geoff Button was able to effectively play a man who gives and gives so much without getting anything in turn it drives him to rage and then insanity. He sets the wheels of destruction not for himself but for others and even though you don't find him a sympathetic man you do feel pit for him. As his love interest Maria Lindsey Gavel is his fire to the ice in his world. Ms. Gravel having flaming red hair, a sweet singing voice, and an ability to fill the void for somethings things that we might normally not seen.

I think my biggest issue and it's something that's tied in the structure of the place but was not up by this group of actors is that with the hell that is going on I expected some innocence within the characters or possibly th staging. Something to make us feel that we started with hop, or got hope in the middle and then we lost it, after this production I felt like we never had it to begin with.

1 comment:

bollo said...

So glad you enjoyed Woyzeck! Thank you!