The timing and expression of talented stage actors bring this play's subtle allegory home for better or worse, and usually better. Alan Alda plays Flanders Kittredge without self-consciousness. He is familiar with the phrasing necessary for this dramatic work whose essence relies on what the characters hear. Hunter-Gault makes a spoken metamorphosis from punk to prodigy, and his role is a difficult one that requires fooling other players and the listener. A full cast rounds out the production, and the live audience leads the way as we follow their amusement and their silences. The short play makes for a brief encounter, but the cast captures its charm and gravity for as long as it lasts.
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"...an excellent production of Guare's famous play." (Library Journal)
I wanted to give this one five stars, but it just misses the mark. Even on stage, it is a very difficult play to make work, and this audio production, despite the best efforts of an expert cast, especially Swoosie Kurtz, never quite leaves the page. The play, by "House of Blue Leaves" author Guare, has interesting things to say about celebrity, art, loneliness, and the lives of the not-quite-super rich, and has several good monologues, but it never fully comes together, in my opinion. All that being said, this production is well worth hearing, both for Guare's thoughts and Kurtz's excellent vocal work.
This play is one which will make you chuckle out loud at times as the story unfolds, and will leave you thinking. It's an exploration of society, friendship, trust and honesty which will stay with you long after the end of the performance. The performances are solid, nuanced, and the play loses nothing in its transfer to an audiobook. Go ahead, immerse yourself in this drama about modern life, art, film and friendships.
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