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Thoughts on THE FOUR OF US

Yankeefan007
Broadway Legend
joined:3/20/04
Broadway Legend
joined:
3/20/04
Thoughts on THE FOUR OF US#1
Posted: 3/23/08 at 12:00am
Itamar Moses has crafted a play based around one of the oldest plots in drama - two best friends, both writers, one is successful, the other isn't.

Yet he manages to steer it away from the traditional cliched routes by playing around with the conventions of time and creates an 11th hour twist that few see coming and, ultimately, ends up leaving you more puzzled than satisifed.

A sleek production by Pam McKinnon (busy this season). Well acted by Gideon Banner and a very endearing Michael Esper.

The problem is, and I've faced this problem, too, when I'm writing a plot like this (and it even had the same kind of twist), the audience feels more betrayed than they do happy. To give away some would be to give away all, so PM me if you want spoilers.

It could benefit from a few cuts, but at 95 minutes, it's a fairly enjoyable afternoon. Of course, the thousand year old patrons of MTC couldn't follow the time-jumping plot, and at one point, following the line "Get the F- out!" an old lady, who had been audibly whispering through the entire thing, said "I'd like to!" During the curtain call, a different lady got up and left. Of course, being a 3-row black box, and this woman sitting in the front row, left in full view of the actors, who waved to her as she was leaving.

Fun.
RyToast1
Broadway Legend
joined:5/27/07
Broadway Legend
joined:
5/27/07
re: Thoughts on THE FOUR OF US#2
Posted: 3/23/08 at 12:39am
Yankee, I saw the final dress of the show, and agree wholeheartedly with everything you said, especially about the twist near the end. I felt taken advantage of, and I was not happy!! Looking back now, I realize how brilliant that plot-twist really was!
Yankeefan007
Broadway Legend
joined:3/20/04
Broadway Legend
joined:
3/20/04
re: Thoughts on THE FOUR OF US#2
Posted: 3/23/08 at 7:57am
It is a great twist. Unfortunately, you feel played because of it. But it really is a...great twist.

I'll go as far as to say that that would have been the perfect ending, rather than the scene under the stars. No?
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AC126748
Broadway Legend
joined:7/15/06
Broadway Legend
joined:
7/15/06
re: Thoughts on THE FOUR OF US#3
Posted: 3/23/08 at 10:23am
I attended the first preview earlier this month, and it was in great shape even then. This is the first new play of the year that I really found to be hitting on all cylinders: extremely well-acted (Banner and Esper have an excellent rapport; I believed that they had been friends for years), well-written and directed with ease and fluidity by Pam McKinnon. Yes, the global plot is hardly original, but Moses is able to skirt most of the contemporary playwrighting cliches and create a solid, flowing narrative.

I won't give anything away, since I want a lot of people to see this show, but I found the structure to be very fresh and satisfying. The mark of a great production: I didn't glance at my watch once.
"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
RyToast1
Broadway Legend
joined:5/27/07
Broadway Legend
joined:
5/27/07
re: Thoughts on THE FOUR OF US#4
Posted: 3/23/08 at 11:15am
Yankee, yes. It could've (and maybe should've) ended before the scene under the stars. Either way, I recommend this to anyone!
whatever2
Broadway Legend
joined:8/25/06
Broadway Legend
joined:
8/25/06
re: Thoughts on THE FOUR OF US#5
Posted: 3/24/08 at 1:00pm
probably it's just me, but i never feel "stung" by a plot twist that *works*, and as yankee said, this one works.

i think the final scene is necessary, i just wish it could be less saccharine somehow.
"You, sir, are a moron." (PlayItAgain)