BWW Reviews: Mediocre and Missing a Few Degrees, TRP's SIX DEGREES OF SEPARATION
Now I could continue to rag on the long list scribbled in my notes; the guy who looked entirely too old to be a college student, the idea that flannel/plaid shirts and jeans are apparently the only thing college boys wore back then, the laughable nudity scene where the staging made absolutely no sense and why did Paul seem to be moving in slow motion the whole show? But I won't elaborate those things.
Just before leaving, I put my own thoughts in neutral for a minute---Guare's script although easy on the exterior might actually be a little more difficult than I realized. Looking back, even the film left me feeling a little underwhelmed. With its complex nuances and subtleties, it takes a stellar group to really give it the punch it needs. Unfortunately, the performance I just witnessed fell prey and didn't bring the best out of this script. So while a person who doesn't see much live theatre, could easily deem this production, "amazing" or "fantastic" (and people did), I can't say the same. I've seen an extensive amount theatre and I've personally seen Theatre in the Round Players do better.
For a company that borders that fine line of trying to produce high-quality theatre and not pay the actors, Theatre in the Round Players does a solid job a majority of the time. This just wasn't their finest hour. And this bump in the road certainly doesn't mean I would pass on the opportunity to see another production from them. Most times I actually look forward to seeing what's next for the oldest theatre in Minneapolis.
At the end of the day, it wasn't that I didn't enjoy the performance or the cinnamon cookie I always allow myself to have, I just felt it needed more polish and maybe a little more time in rehearsals to marinate with some of the actors. And like overcooked and unseasoned meat it was just tough to swallow and just a little bland for me. There were bits and pieces that were tender and delicious but the vast majority was of no use to me.
Theatre in the Round Players, 245 Cedar Avenue, Minneapolis, 612.333.3010, theatreintheround.org.
Photo Credit: Clockwise from the left: Tamara Clark, H. William Kirsch, H. Wesley McClain, Kari Elizabeth Kjeldseth and Darrail Hughes. Directed by Austene Van, costume design by Samantha Kuhn Staneart. Photo by Ron Ravensborg.