Scot Bastian, Roving Pundit

February 15, 2011

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

Plays and Such with Jorj Savage

January 27, 2011

Editor’s Note:  Jorj is back on the beat with these two selections you might enjoy:

Jorj Has Two Great Ideas for You

Rik Deskin’s Eclectic Theater Company is currently presenting Moliere’s THE MISANTHROPE Friday thru Sunday at The Odd Duck.  A talented cast of youngish actors are busting their chops for director Kate Huisentruit.  We have been hearing their rehearsal shouts and screams at our Tuesday WARP meetings at the Duck.  The space now has two rehearsal rooms in addition to the theater.  The show has pace and energy.  Bryan Bender is morose in the lead and Adria Morticella is a knockout as Philinte and two other roles.  She reacts, mugs, plays men’s parts, has her mustach fall off and reminds me of a young Carol Burnette.  The message that it is better to be truthful in polite society is perhaps timeless.  It gets you nowwhere.  They need audience and deserve support. The play runs Friday Thru Sunday through February 12th. ”  – Jorj

John Kazanjian has staged a little known David Mamet farce titled NOVEMBER at the new New City Theater (The Shoebox Theater) at 1404 18th Ave. (near Union). The show runs weekends through February 12th.  Where else but Seattle can you see this play and CYMBELINE an equally obscure Shakepeare play.  What a city.  The plot of NOVEMBER has to do with the President of the United States pardoing two turkeys at Thanksgaiving and authorizing a lesbian marriage.  There is a Native American thrown into the mix.” –  Jorj
Photo by Carl Nelson

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