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Death and the Maiden - Chicago

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jon5202
Featured Actor
joined:12/14/10
Death and the Maiden - Chicago
Posted: 6/13/14 at 04:55pm
Death and the Maiden starring Sandra Oh, John Judd and Raul Castillo has begun previews in Chicago at Victory Gardens Theatre:

http://victorygardens.org/our-season/death-and-the-maiden/
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AC126748
Broadway Legend
joined:7/15/06
Death and the Maiden - Chicago
Posted: 6/13/14 at 05:34pm
Seeing this next weekend when I'm in Chicago, along with THE LAST SHIP and THIS IS OUR YOUTH.
"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
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GilmoreGirlO2
Broadway Star
joined:4/13/05
Death and the Maiden - Chicago
Posted: 6/18/14 at 11:54am
Saw this last night. It is still in previews (opens on Friday) and you could definitely feel that. There was a good amount of tripping up on lines and there is definitely a through-line flow that still needs to be achieved. I'd like to go back later in the run to see how it has progressed.

The script itself is extremely interesting and full of questions; me and the group I went with stood around and discussed our ideas and thoughts on the show for a long time after (and, I love shows that ignite such great post-show discussion – we all noticed different moments that were really interesting to hear). I do wonder if anything has been lost in the translation as there were a few lines that seemed like they were important (based off of the words chosen), but, talking with the group after, we wondered if it was actually more a product of the translation. I definitely want to read the script (unfortunately, I won’t be able to read it in its original language) and see what conclusions I can get from how its written. The direction and actors clearly had to make a few choices about things that could be interpreted either way and I’m curious to see how they read in the script.

Oh is wonderful. Her transformation from her scared, inward self in the first scene to when her character lets the feelings she has been bottling up inside for 15 years go was a joy to watch. She gives a performance very full of truth and honesty and I am grateful I got to see her in this. She is giving the most dynamic performance of the 3.

John Judd is great. *SPOILER* However, to me it seems clear, from the script, that he is the doctor who tortured her (and, I do think the production has chosen to make this decision as well – although, I'd like to see what others though) and I wish that Judd had showed a few more moments of vulnerability at being found out. The only time I saw him have a moment of inner panic caused by the possibility of being found out that he is who Oh's character says he is (and not just from being afraid of dying) was when she mentioned the ham and mayonnaise sandwiches he likes. I wish there had been few more moments like that. *END SPOILER*

Unfortunately, Castillo was an obvious weak link for me last night. Very stiff and one-note, especially in comparison to Oh and Judd. It was occasionally awkward watching him onstage and I felt he really weighed the other two down. I was imagining how electric and tight the show could have been with an actor in this role that is on the same level as Judd and Oh. Perhaps he will grow in the role as the run progresses, but he just seemed uncomfortable and very unnatural with the lines.

I think there are some directing moments that could certainly be improved upon as well. There were realization and reveal moments that weren’t given enough of a moment or focus, which would have really helped build the arc and dynamics of the scenes, but these may likely be worked on in the next few days. The staging itself was very natural and interesting, though.

Hoping some others on here see the show soon. I would love to get others' perspectives on what they believe some of the outcomes were and what certain moments meant. There's a lot there, both in the script and in the production.

Updated On: 6/18/14 at 11:54 AM
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jon5202
Featured Actor
joined:12/14/10
Death and the Maiden - Chicago
Posted: 6/19/14 at 08:30am
Updated On: 6/19/14 at 08:30 AM
jon5202 Profile Photo
jon5202
Featured Actor
joined:12/14/10
Death and the Maiden - Chicago
Posted: 6/23/14 at 10:12am

 
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