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Phoenix

HBBrock
Broadway Star
joined:6/11/07
"Phoenix" Off Broadway at Cherry Lane
Posted: 7/28/14 at 11:51pm
Anyone see the first preview? Please post thoughts!
HBBrock
Broadway Star
joined:6/11/07
Re:
Posted: 8/3/14 at 08:39pm
One entire week of shows, and nobody has seen this yet?
Tom5
Understudy
joined:9/23/11
Re:
Posted: 8/3/14 at 10:56pm
If there's one thing worse than terrible reviews it's no reviews - or interest - at all. Surprising with Julia Stiles in the cast. But it is a two-hander, (I personally prefer plays with a wider story and character dynamic) the title is dull and the plot outline is not exactly an excitement magnet. I'll be looking forward to the official reviews in any case.
After Eight
Broadway Legend
joined:6/5/09
Re:
Posted: 8/4/14 at 06:15am
It's a two-character romantic comedy, a genre not easy to pull off. This one makes a fair attempt at it. It's talky and too often dull, but with moments of humor and charm. The first scene has the characters talking in a kind of staccato that is annoying in the extreme, but it settles down after that. The resolution strikes me as problematic. The man's part is the better one. Both actors do a good job.
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AndrewAndrew
Stand-by
joined:11/20/12
Our Video Review of Phoenix
Posted: 8/7/14 at 10:17pm
Did it go up in flames or soar to great heights? Review of Phoenix with Julia Stiles now at Cherry Lane Theatre.
Video Review of Phoenix
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NewYorkTheater
Broadway Star
joined:1/23/10
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followspot
Broadway Star
joined:12/27/11
PHOENIX
Posted: 8/13/14 at 12:00pm
Who can a young director blame when her NYC debut gets panned? "Unsophisticated" theatergoers, of course. Oh my.

Director Jennifer DeLia Responds to Criticism of the 'Not-So-Conventional' PHOENIX in New Essay
"Tracy... Hold Mama's waffles."
Updated On: 8/13/14 at 12:00 PM
neonlightsxo
Broadway Star
joined:7/29/08
Our Video Review of Phoenix
Posted: 8/13/14 at 12:03pm
I have not seen the show and do not plan to, due to the terrible reviews. It seems like this newbie director is just showing her naivety/ignorance by writing a statement to stand up for her play.
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GilmoreGirlO2
Broadway Star
joined:4/13/05
Our Video Review of Phoenix
Posted: 8/13/14 at 02:14pm
I havenít seen the show, so I have no personal opinion on the matters at hand. But I read the Times review and then the directorís statement. The statements reads so pretentious to me, I think this response can only hurt her. I canít tell if she is defending the text and talking about how true to life the awkwardness of the text is or saying that, with the choices her and the cast made, they were able to make text that could be bad look good.

And, her defense of the set and physical staging choices come off seeming a little ridiculous to me. Itís fine that she and/or the set designer had such a symbolic idea regarding what it should look like, but if the audience doesnít understand that symbolism (or, they at least donít feel the effects of it), then, no matter how brilliant you think the decision was, it was not well-executed. And, itís fine to make the decision that one of the characters is doing yoga or a somersault or what have you, but if the audience isnít getting that the character is doing these things for a reason and they become more of a distraction than insight to the character, it doesnít matter if the artists have an explanation. If something isnít coming across to the audience onstage (especially to the point of being distracting or confusing), it doesnít make a difference how much thought and motivation went into the decision.

One of my biggest pet peeves in artists getting defensive of their work is when they throw out the ďWell, you just didnít get itĒ line, which I felt like this directorís whole statement was, in essence. But, if the audience doesnít get itÖthen arenít you not serving the story and not doing your job as an artist in relaying that story in the best way possible?
PJPan
Understudy
joined:5/6/13
Our Video Review of Phoenix
Posted: 8/13/14 at 02:40pm
"There is actual art as the backdrop and the art is intentionally childlike because it's representative of the inner-child and a sort of innocence, as each piece reflects a symbol from the story whether it be the Grand Canyon (representing vastness and letting go of ego) or a portrait of Sue (representing her inner conflict), and so on."

I don't know about anyone else, but it doesn't come off well when you have to explain your symbolism. I'm on the fence whether or not to see the show, but I've never been the biggest Julia Stiles fan.
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followspot
Broadway Star
joined:12/27/11
"Phoenix" Off Broadway at Cherry Lane
Posted: 8/13/14 at 05:04pm
Favorite bits:

"What we found lovely and endearing about this play is that there is real human emotion underneath the words"

"'why does Sue do yoga?' Simple answer: who in NYC doesn't? Very few, in fact."

"We made choices which were 1 - let's keep the show on its feet when and where we can so that when there's stillness, there's real impact; 2 - let's allow the environment to be slightly abstract rather than spoon fed; and 3 - let's make it as emotionally authentic as possible. Audiences seem to love and to be grateful for those 3 choices given their realization that without those choices, it would be two people sitting at tables having extremely absurd conversations for 80 min."

"I love that art is subjective and "cheers" to those who are uncomfortable while watching our play. And and an even bigger "cheers" to the majority of our audiences who are quite sophisticated, have imagination, and appreciate the exploration of the many layers to Sue's and Bruce's psyches and, as well, to the production."

My oh my oh my.
"Tracy... Hold Mama's waffles."
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FishermanBob
Broadway Legend
joined:7/9/12
"Phoenix" Off Broadway at Cherry Lane
Posted: 8/13/14 at 06:18pm
"'why does Sue do yoga?' Simple answer: who in NYC doesn't? Very few, in fact."

If she would have said "who in NYC doesn't do yoga... or eat yogurt... or like Yogi Bear... or Yogi Berra", THEN, I think her final statement might have been correct.
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ClydeBarrow
Broadway Legend
joined:6/20/12
Phoenix
Posted: 8/29/14 at 07:36pm
I know this steaming pile of sh!t has closed but I would like to voice my outrage somewhere in hopes that those involved are aware of how dreadful that play was. I can honestly say that I've never been more aggravated seeing a show before. It was painful to sit through because neither of the characters speak or act like humans, the "plot" is threadbare and uninteresting and the so-called set was deplorable. The director felt the need to pen an idiotic essay in defense of some of the stupidest choices I've ever seen on stage.

First, the plot can be summed up as "cold b!tch gets knocked up by a complete doof, she wants to get abortion, he stalks her across state lines, pleads for her to do something different with HER body, X weeks later she rethinks her decision and might just love this dummy." There was nothing to get you invested emotionally because you HATED both characters. Neither actor was strong enough to pull off such trite writing (and I went for Julia Stiles). Bruce's abortion clinic declaration that he wanted Sue to keep the baby and let him raise it was revolting to say the least. It was abundantly clear that it man wrote this play which portrayed the woman as either a heartless b!tch (she wants to have the abortion) or a groveling submissive (practically crawling on her knees to be taken back). The incessant reiteration of things ("it took him 3 days to drive to Phoenix!" "they drink coffee!" "let's shake on it!") made my skin start to crawl by the end.

The set consisted of a couch and two chairs on a revolving platform and two stools. There were entire scenes where you couldn't determine what the setting was (maybe a parking lot?). The amateur paintings hung in the background weren't as subtle as the director claims in her essay...they were just covered in glitter.

Speaking of said "director," I hope she's never given the task of directing anything again. Reading her rationale after seeing the play reaffirms this even more. If she thought anyone liked the incredibly long transitions between scenes then she has got to be out of her mind. It only served to allow the audience to grow bored and start talking. People in NYC might do yoga but they don't do it while ON A PHONE CALL. There was so much futzing with clothing by constant folding (wrapping it around her hands) and unfolding that it drove me nuts.

The Playbill states that a feature film will be made of this and I couldn't imagine anything I would want to see less.
"Pardon my prior Mcfee slip. I know how to spell her name. I just don't know how to type it." -Talulah
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perfectlymarvelous
Broadway Legend
joined:5/21/07
Phoenix
Posted: 8/29/14 at 10:18pm
I was there last night as well and I was so perplexed as to why and how this play got a professional production. It felt like I was watching a scene in my college acting class. So much of what was happening onstage was completely unnatural in a distracting kind of way (who does yoga while talking on the phone?!), and neither character was even remotely interesting. It also bothered me immensely that we were forced to accept that these people had a real connection, yet basically all we see of them is either them fighting or having meaningless conversations about nothing...not terribly convincing. My friends and I honestly got the giggles about 10 minutes before the end because it was all just so absurd. The best thing I can say about it is that it was mercifully short.
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Broadway Joe
Broadway Star
joined:6/15/10
Phoenix
Posted: 8/29/14 at 10:24pm
I had a chance to see this through comps but this thread made me hesitant not to waste my time and after reading the latest posts I'm glad I didn't go so thank you lol