Is This Land Your Land?

Titus Andronicus and a Play for Woody Guthrie

Comments

1
I'm a little jealous of your experience with This Land... The first act was gorgeously understated - more in line with both Guthrie's work and the bunraku/Americana aesthetic - but the second act tries too hard, becomes too "artistic" and preachy, and loses the everyday magic that Guthrie encapsulated.
2
More great insights from Brendan Kiley: "The acting was good, but the special effects were bad." "I didn't realize there was a second act, but I'm still going to review it."

Seattle deserves better reviews. And its clear you don't care about it. Go away, Brendan.
3
It might help if you watched the show without preconceived notions of what a "sucessful production of Titus" is supposed to look like. Theatre is about creativity, not recreating past shows.
4
@2. At least Kiley has the decency to put his name to his criticisms. It's takes a bizarre amount of cowardice to avoid even hiding behind a username and avatar, but instead post an unregistered comment under the name "not a registered user". Bold.

And Kiley is right about the TA script. (this is to you, too @3) Titus is vapid, gory, Elizabethan slasher-porn that would have been long forgotten if anyone else's name were on the folio. If people make the thoughtless error of putting up such a terrible play simply because it is Shakespeare, they should at least ensure it's interesting, visually stunning, or in some other fashion more than reciting what the big S left on the page. I have not seen this production, so I speak only of the script.
5
Man, I wish I could just do my job halfway when I want to.
6
I only read half the review. I later realized that there were more words, but I'm going to hold on to the version of the review I read and deeply... read.

That's it for me! I'm off to 4 hours of bed and part of breakfast in the morning, then I'll take exactly half a bath.
7
FYI, I went back to see the second act of "This Land" this weekend and will write about that online soon. So @6 can take the other half of that bath now.
8
Having known (and arguably been) some of each in my lifetime, I'm not convinced that introspective people who plumb the depths of the soul are necessarily more interesting than that people of action. It's just that theatergoers, by and large an introspective lot, find people like themselves more fascinating than people unlike themselves.

What makes Titus interesting for me is that the characters do translate their "inner lives"--that is to say, their impulses--into action, rather than rumination (in sort of the same way that Shaw's characters translate all impulse directly into speech, without a hint of irony or subterfuge). Well, that and the easy tipping of pathos into bathos, which always makes for high stakes and guilty giggling. It helps to have blood, but I'm not sure it's necessary.