Andrew Hamm: the Bipolar Express

Ruminations on theatre, music, and just about anything else that crosses my bipolar brain.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

"Style" Reviews "The Tempest" At Last!

With a lovely picture of Stephen Lorne Williams looking properly cantankerous, Style Weekly has at last deigned to print David Timberline's review of The Tempest.

As with so many others (including myself), Mr. Timberline likes Graham Birce a lot. He says: "’s this production’s Ariel, played by the remarkable Graham Birce, who infuses significant charm and vigor into the proceedings. ... Birce moves about spryly in black Converse sneakers, plays violin beautifully, sings enchanting songs, and even walks on stilts." The fact that the review also remarks on Dave White's Caliban makes me sad that Mr. Timberline couldn't be there to see the Birce/White two-actor Doctor Faustus.

It's a shame Mr. Timberline has such a short column length for his reviews. So much time has to be spent on essential story detail that wonderful performances like Frank Creasy's, Freddy Kaufmann's, and Lucas Hall's don't get a mention.

You'll just have to come see the show, start your own blog, and write your own review.

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  • At 6/27/2007 1:11 PM , Blogger Joey Fanelli said...

    You should write a review of it.

  • At 6/27/2007 9:16 PM , Blogger Frank Creasy said...

    Well, that thought is much appreciated Mr. Wham, but what I think most noteworthy for myself in particular about this show is not my performance, but the best damn costume I've ever had on any stage, any where, period. It's as if I had my own personal tailor come in and say, "we're going to make a costume that is fitted specifically for you to look your absolute best." That's what Becky Cairns did for me, without really setting that as a goal. If I could only get her to tailor ALL my clothes like that, my God...maybe I'd get more lead roles and fewer clown roles!!!

    But you're right. This is some excellent clown work by Freddy and of course, Lucas with pink wings...well, you just can't top that.

  • At 6/27/2007 10:21 PM , Blogger Dave T said...

    Thanks for the link to my review, Andrew. I also wish I could have written more, but probably the next person I would have heaped praise on was Ms. Blake who I found quite fetching and amongst the best enunciators (sp?) in the cast -- not a small skill to overlook when dealing with ole Mr. Bard. But then after that it would certainly have been Mr. Creasy, fer sure, as he was in fine form as Prospero's loyal friend.

    Just to ramble on a bit, your last paragraph makes me reflect on how intriguing a thing criticism has become in the age of the Internet. Anyone CAN start a blog and write their own review. Many people could write a better and more informed and certainly funnier review than I could. And if you have your own following, you can reach as many people with your words via the Internet than I can via the 45K or so people who pick up Style every week.

    But the challenge I have always found that I think escapes many online writers is the part where you fit it all into the limited space provided. It's said that Kipling once wrote, "sorry this is such a long letter, but I didn't have time to write a short one." Writing short definitely takes time and a pretty mercilous sense of what should stay and go. But it's a necessary skill because you'd be surprised how quickly the typical reader loses interest. Just a few months ago I had a friend berate me for my negative opinion of some show and I said, "hey, didn't you read the second paragraph?" and he somewhat testily admitted that he hardly ever reads beyond the lead.

    Which is all to say: by all means, more power to all of those who start a blog and write a review and get their opinions out there. But unless you're good with comic asides or entertaining anecdotes, don't be surprised if only a handful your best buds read all of what you've written...

  • At 6/28/2007 8:18 AM , Blogger Andrew Hamm said...

    Hey, man, I have a hard enough time getting my friends to come see my performances, much less read this stupid blog...

    I wish I could remember who said, "The Internet is a primarily place to complain about Star wars and share pornography." And Strong Bad says, "The Internet is a place where absolutely nothing happens. And you need to take advantage of that!" Quote #3: Shakespeare wrote that "Brevity is the soul of wit." An ironic statement for a man who wrote so many plays that are so easy to stretch over three hours.

    That said, keeping it short is an art. Rambling not so much. I'd like to think that there's more benefit to a writer editing himself than column inches doing the editing for you. Then again, almost every writing gig I've done has had no word count limit, so what the hell do I know?

    I'll close with some more Strong Bad: "Who knows? Tomorrow you may be really big in Pakistan. Or at least with some guy named Stan."


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