Thursday, January 29, 2015

I entered the world of Les Liaisons Dangereuse last night through a preview performance of the Palm Beach Dramaworks production.  Elizabeth West Versalie, playwright/lyricist of Convertible and member of the South Florida Theater League, also attended.
What is amazing to me is my total lack of sympathy for this play, which took 3 hours to deliver.  I'm sure my low level irritation arises because the subject matter cuts so close to home regarding my own work, in which audiences are challenged to find anything that concerns them.
Somehow after three hours I am at a loss to find character development in the figures parading about.    Their sincerity or lack of it seems arbitrary.  Somewhere buried in them are feelings, and the lead fellow's drive to not take no for an answer is somehow a show of strength and ingenuity, useless though it may be.  The playwright's waste of eloquent speech to resurrect the novel, giving costumed actors the opportunity to pretend and prey upon lower realms from a godlike precipice, is completely inconsequential.  Perhaps it lays a foundation for the French Revolution, but the main question after seeing what you'd be overthrowing is, why bother?  Ok, there's more to consider....   Perhaps this griping goes to the merit of classical french theater, the only names coming to mind being Voltaire and Moliere, which is vaguely satirical.  I remember being also annoyed by The Miser and The Hypochondriac (is that Tartuffe?).  I suppose I've grown to love the Bernstein Wilbur modern day derivative of Voltaire's Candide.  I may grow to love Christopher Hampton's Play, too.