Scot Bastian, Roving Pundit

 
   

This Critic, For the Next Couple of Months, Does not Want to see any Plays with Women Speaking About Their Vaginas

The Saint Valentine’s Day Push-Back

Editor:  After all this lovey-dovey it’s only natural that the System must re-boot; re-callibrate; and realize where it lives.  Here’s the first in a flurry of broadsides this awakening World has sent us:

 
 

How I Learned to Rant

 

reviewed by Scot Bastian

“Let me state at the outset that I’m in a particularly curmudgeonly mood today. It must be hard for a professional critic (which I definitely and emphatically am not) to objectively separate out the value of a work of art from their mindset when they experience it. Anyhow, with that caveat, here goes. Last night I saw the play “How I Learned to Drive” by Paula Vogel, which was capably staged by the folks at Stone Soup Theatre. They did a fine job. Good acting, staging, directing and, based on the short talk-back after the the play (which I did not participate in) a real audience-pleaser. I hated it. The play is about Uncle Peck who, over the course of his relationship with his niece, “Li’l Bit,” tries to seduce her, beginning at the age of 11 right on through to the age of 18. The uncle provides emotional support and a “haven” for Li’l Bit from her weird highly-sexualized family. Uncle Peck never changes. He’s a manipulative scumbag in the beginning, going through various deviant behaviors throughout, and he ends as a scumbag. The tone of Uncle Peck’s character is sympathetic, but he seems closer to pathetic to me, and Li’l Bit does change—but she seems more like a survivor than a hero. Perhaps many in the audience thought this play “insightful,” but I found it as inspiring as “The Jerry Springer Show.” I’m just a little sick of seeing theater that, in an attempt to be “edgy” or clever and sophisticated, ends up as pseudo-intellectual clap-trap. (See note above about bad mood.) For the record, for at least the next couple of months I don’t want to see any plays about: 1) Women talking about their vaginas, 2) People screwing goats, or, 3) Priest pedophiles. Maybe I’ll go and see “The Misanthrope” at the Odd Duck Theater again—if it’s still playing—I can relate to the main character.
Rant mode off.
I feel better now.”

– Scot 

Photo by Carl Nelson

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