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Don't Go Gentle

WhizzerMarvin TrinaJasonMendel Profile Photo
WhizzerMarvin TrinaJasonMendel
Broadway Legend
joined:5/26/05
Don't Go Gentle
Posted: 10/3/12 at 10:29am
A friend and I saw this clunker last night at the Lucille Lortel. It was only about 100 minutes, but felt much longer. The script was so lifeless and long-winded; very much a struggle keep awake at points in the first half.

The actors, especially Michael Christofer (who unfortunately has no martinis to throw in people's faces), do a what they can, but there's not enough to work with.

Christofer plays a retired conservative, Republican judge. His daughter convinces him to take on some pro bono cases in his old age to keep busy and he winds up with a Black woman found guilty of smuggling pot into prison for her now ex-boyfriend. She was originally convicted of a felony, when it is only a misdemeanor to do so. He feels "offended" that the law was distorted and now decides to take in the woman and her teenage son.

Christofer's two grown children feel threatened that this new presence is in their father's house and plenty of race-baiting dialogue is sure to follow.

Did I forget to mention that Christofer is suffering from cancer and is sure to drop dead at any moment? Well I bet we can all guess where this play is going.

I feel like this play has been written and performed 10 times before at Playwrights Horizons and Second Stage. MCC normally puts on better than this, and yes it was an earnest effort, but I can't really recommend it.
Marie: Don't be in such a hurry about that pretty little chippy in Frisco. Tony: Eh, she's a no chip!
iluvtheatertrash Profile Photo
iluvtheatertrash
Broadway Legend
joined:11/9/04
Don't Go Gentle
Posted: 10/3/12 at 10:39am
Sad to hear. I loved Belber's MATCH with Langella.
"I know now that theatre saved my life." - Susan Stroman
WhizzerMarvin TrinaJasonMendel Profile Photo
WhizzerMarvin TrinaJasonMendel
Broadway Legend
joined:5/26/05
Don't Go Gentle
Posted: 10/3/12 at 10:47am
I'm not familiar with Match, so I can't say how this compares. I feel like this whole play could have been condensed into a 44 minute episode of some primetime drama. I hope to see Christofer on stage again soon though. He really is a terrific actor.
Marie: Don't be in such a hurry about that pretty little chippy in Frisco. Tony: Eh, she's a no chip!
AC126748 Profile Photo
AC126748
Broadway Legend
joined:7/15/06
Don't Go Gentle
Posted: 10/3/12 at 10:59am
feel like this whole play could have been condensed into a 44 minute episode of some primetime drama.

That sounds about right. I haven't seen this yet (and most likely won't), but I've noticed that Belber's plays rarely delve any deeper than a television drama.
"You travel alone because other people are only there to remind you how much that hook hurts that we all bit down on. Wait for that one day we can bite free and get back out there in space where we belong, sail back over water, over skies, into space, the hook finally out of our mouths and we wander back out there in space spawning to other planets never to return hurrah to earth and we'll look back and can't even see these lives here anymore. Only the taste of blood to remind us we ever existed. The earth is small. We're gone. We're dead. We're safe." -John Guare, Landscape of the Body
jbm2
Broadway Star
joined:3/26/11
Don't Go Gentle
Posted: 10/3/12 at 12:10pm
Good to know- was considering this show or The Whale...
I think I'll take a chance with The Whale.