I have somehow gotten myself onto the mailing list for the Guthrie's press releases. And it's been really quite fascinating...I enjoy getting notice of the upcoming seasons, masterclasses/lectures and whatnot. But it's also a bit spammish, in that it's never provided me anything more than information about shows that I had desperately wanted to be in (*cough*Jane Eyre*cough*); until early this week. I was the lucky recipient of a complimentary ticket offer to check out Private Lives on the Guthrie's proscenium stage. Score!
When I arrived at will-call to claim my tickets, they were accompanied by a press folder and card. I suddenly felt dishonest...like those tickets weren't really meant for me unless I was intending to write publicly about the show. And I don't want this blog to become a place where I review other shows, because then that makes me a critic and people will treat me differently - they'll be interested in me not because they want to cast me in something, they'll be interested in me because they hope that I'll give their show some (good) exposure (lesson sadly learned firsthand from hosting the Minnesota Fringe Festival Podcast back in aught-five).
Alas, in the interest of easing my guilty conscience, I will give you my impression of the show Thursday night. Do with it what you will:
Overall, I thought the production was a good slice of pure entertainment. Total fluff, but mostly well-done fluff. The actress who played Amanda was fittingly cast and oozed divine languidity - and her comic timing was impeccable. Adversely, I was disappointed by the characterization of Cybil. I think that the actress in the role is exceptionally talented, but that she was poorly directed – it just didn’t appear that the director really knew what to do with the character. And granted, Cybil is supposed to be milquetoasty, but I think there's a way to do that without resorting to a paper-thin caricature. On the production front, the second of two sets heavily outweighed the first in its “wow” factor – quite beautiful – and despite one of my best friends being a professional lighting designer for some fancy-schmancy outfits, I still don’t know how to critique lighting. On the whole, it looked just fine to me. All in all, I had many, many good, strong, sincere laughs and thoroughly enjoyed my evening there. Recommended.
Okay. All better.