Thursday, September 22, 2011

Bacchanal Time for the Lost Generation

Unseen woman one row behind me asks unseen man how is he enjoying the show. Unseen man says he doesn't know; they just seem to be having a good time. Unseen woman says that's the point. 

Ever since I missed Gatz, I have been intrigued with the Elevator Repair Service theater group, which somehow manages to successfully stage American classics verbatim. So when I finally got around to noticing that they are doing an abridged version of Ernest Hemingway's The Sun Also Rises, I had to check it out.  

As I waited for the performance to begin, I checked out the set of The Select (The Sun Also Rises), It looked like some aged dive bar with torn streamers clearly the remnants of some previous festivities. Oh, by the way, did I mention the booze - A LOT of booze. In general, the acting and pace of the show were very good and the bullfight scene was absolutely engrossing. I have never seen a group of people (on stage or anywhere) drink and party as much as this bunch does as they journey from Paris to Pamplona.

I did have some problems with the actor playing Jake Barnes. As an audience member noted, he was reminiscent of a young Paul Giamatti and that did not quite add up for me. Also, I just did not see the chemistry between Jake and Brett nor did I feel their love. But getting back to the unseen man and woman, I get that the Hemingway's The Sun Also Rises is a classic in part for chronicling the "lost generation" but The Select (The Sun Also Rises) left me not really caring one bit about any of the characters as they drowned their souls in booze and just partied.

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