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Archive for June 17th, 2009

381419953703_0_ALB

by Sam Juliano

     The beauty about Manhattan theatre going is that diamonds are often found in the rough.  Straddling the precarious line between endearment and sappiness, Korean-American Lloyd Suh’s new short play, American Hwangap unearths some valid emotion from a story of abandonment and return.  Making superlative use of a sparsely-adorned stage, which includes a symbolic kitchen table, director Trip Cullmanachieves the intimacy that rarely informs larger productions with more elaborate sets.  The key to the effectiveness of this piece is that there is rarely more than two people on stage at the same time, and as a result there is a sense of urgency which often sheds light on the inner feelings of the work’s protagonists.  The four family members who were left behind by Min Suk Chun 15 years earlier are divided on whether to forgive him and extend to him the welcome carpet on the occasion of his 60th birthday.  Chun lost his job as an engineer and returned to Korea, while leaving his family in suburban West Texas to fend for themselves.  While the ex-wife professes surface indignation, she’s quite willing to engage in an extended ‘tumble in the hay’ which illustrates sustained deprivation in more ways than one.  She and her youngest son are willing to great clearance for an amicable reunion, but the daughter and the older son refuse to excuse past indiscretions, which are candidly revealed in some stimulating off stage monologues by the older son, speaking on a phone.  The older daughter confesses with irony:  “You weren’t there for either one of my weddings, “but I did get the toaster sent after my first divorce.”  (more…)

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deep end 1

by Allan Fish

(UK 1970 88m) not on DVD

Just go along with the gag, that’s all they want

p  Judd Bernard  d  Jerzy Skolimowski  w  Jerzy Skolimowski, Jerzy Gruza, Boleslaw Sulik  ph  Charly Steinberger  ed  Barrie Vince  m  Cat Stevens, Can  art  Anthony Pratt

John Moulder-Brown (Mike), Jane Asher (Sue), Diana Dors (lady client), Karl Michael Vogler (instructor), Christopher Sandford (fiancé), Cheryl Hall (hot dog girl), Bert Kwouk (hot dog stand operator), Louise Martini (prostitute), Anita Lochner (Kathy),

The job pays reasonably well and if you work hard, who knows, you may end up behind this desk one day.”  A quote that doubtless thousands have people have heard in one variation or another in their lives and replied, murmuring under their breath “not if I can help it.”  Here our young hero is instructed by his new boss on the first morning of work.  It is left to his colleague, nineteen year old Sue, to give him the real instruction; “you know, old chap, ladies of a certain age tend to favour polite and obliging young boys…so do some gentlemen.”  That says it all really. (more…)

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