Machinal

pacificnorthwest
Stand-by
joined:5/29/03
Machinal
Posted: 12/12/13 at 02:04pm
Anyone have the scoop on "Machinal" and whether it looks promising or not?

Updated On: 12/12/13 at 02:04 PM
The Distinctive Baritone
Broadway Legend
joined:8/28/04
Machinal
Posted: 12/12/13 at 02:35pm
I did this play in college and it's a pretty neat one. It's very expressionistic and is a director's dream. I imagine that it will be a great production.
pacificnorthwest
Stand-by
joined:5/29/03
Machinal
Posted: 12/12/13 at 02:50pm
Thank you! I may see it on its first night.
GavestonPS
Broadway Legend
joined:6/10/12
Machinal
Posted: 12/12/13 at 08:07pm
A friend did a production at UCLA and it remains one of my favorite plays. It's really quite amazing and I taught it for years. Even a BAD production would be worth your time; the script is that good.

Trivia note: most people pronounce the play, Ma-kin-AL, which sounds right to my ear, but the author called it Mash-INE-le, to emphasize the theme that the modern world turns people into cogs in a giant machine.
jnb9872
Broadway Legend
joined:11/24/08
Machinal
Posted: 12/12/13 at 11:21pm
In RTC's YouTube video about the production, they seem to be calling it ma-sheen-ALL, which would be a halfway compromise, no? I never know how to go with it.

Like the Baritone, I too did this play in college. It is a weird, uncompromising, unsparing and daring text. I really like what Cumpsty says in that video (I'll link to it in case anyone's curious): there are no heroes or villains in the text. Everyone seems to be doing their best; it's a woman trapped in a system that grinds her down and strips her raw.

I like that Todd Haynes said this one was a bit different for RTC; it is! And that's great! I hope they keep going in this direction; dusting off underperformed classics but casting a wider net to more avant garde and riskier text. And I hope Rebecca Hall gives the performance as the Young Woman that I think she's capable of. This could be a real stunner, if all goes right.

Roundabout: Machinal - About the Show
Words don’t deserve that kind of malarkey. They’re innocent, neutral, precise, standing for this, describing that, meaning the other, so if you look after them you can build bridges across incomprehension and chaos. But when they get their corners knocked off, they’re no good anymore…I don’t think writers are sacred, but words are. They deserve respect. If you get the right ones in the right order, you can nudge the world a little.
GavestonPS
Broadway Legend
joined:6/10/12
Machinal
Posted: 12/13/13 at 06:58am
jnb, apparently it's an actual, if archaic, word. Webster has it pronounced two ways:

ma-SHEEN-al, or ma-keen-AL

Either way it means "of or relating to machines".

http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/machinal

Since I taught the play more than a few times, I'm embarrassed to admit I didn't know it was anything but a word invented by Sophie Treadwell, the author.

Above, I should have mentioned that the brilliant L.A. production I saw in 1991 was directed by Tracy Ward, a well-known, San Francisco-based director.

wexy
Broadway Legend
joined:9/19/05
Machinal
Posted: 12/13/13 at 10:14am
Its a good play.Blessed Unrest did it a couple of years off broadway on W 52nd and they did a good job.
'Take me out tonight where's there's music and there's people and they're young and alive.'