Posts Tagged ‘Alison Pill’

Jack Bustle Terror

February 22, 2010

We had our weigh-ins on Saturday and it wasn’t as glorious a reading as the past few weeks. I put on 2 pounds, so now I’m up to 218, and Ariel took off on 1, which brings him down to 202. But we didn’t let it get us down, no, we still went out cavorting in the city.

We went to see The Miracle Worker with Purdy and Brent and we were pleasantly surprised also with the company of Purdy’s cousin, Chantal. Luckily she was able to get a ticket but unfortunately it was on the other side of the theater. Theater in the round, I found, is not the optimal way to see a dramatic piece, as the actors are alternately positioned to favor one section of the audience at a time; case in point, when Helen Keller finally realized what water was at the pump in the yard, she was facing away from where we were sitting. So any look of wonderment and jubilation she may have had went unseen by us. But we did get more than our share of glimpses of the fancy bustles of the women’s period costumes.

The show is still in previews and aside from inconvenience of theater in the round, there is still some tweaking to do. For instance, in the dining room scene, when Anne Sullivan was teaching Helen proper table manners, some of the scenery obstructed our view. The piece of scenery in question was the door frame that came up from the floor to represent the door of the dining room. From my own personal vantage point, each side of the frame perfectly blocked my view of both Anne and Helen as they battled at the table. The majority of the set was on wires that lowered and rose the pieces into the ceiling and the hanging wires were a bit of a distraction. At times, the acting momentarily lost a little steam, but for the most part the pace was even and the production smooth. What lost it for me was a too prolonged final scene after Helen discovered “water”, hugs and smiles of joy among the family were exaggerated and silent and it diminished the manic mood of Helen’s sudden need to know more.

Alison Pill’s Anne Sullivan could use just a quick, ever so slight buffing swipe to clear the last bit of cobwebs and the part will be as polished as it needs to be. Breslin needs a little more savage animal instinct and Helen’s own untamed behavior will shine. Matthew Modine could tone down his angry bitter Captain Keller role to a lesser roar and Jennifer Morrison’s Kate needs to be a little more downtrodden and desperately hopeful; she smiled too much. Tobias Segal accomplished the role of Helen’s misunderstood and rebuffed half-brother James convincingly. After all was said and done, I gave it a 7 and I left the theater wiping away satisfied tears.

We headed back for a bite to eat and watched some curling on the TV over our heads at the diner then went back to Purdy’s to attempt to kill a bottle of Jack Daniels and the five of us competed in round after round of various board games.

There was more to the weekend but it can keep until tomorrow but for now, I’ll send you over for the next chapter of McGinty Chronicles with an updated link button.