Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Dreamlogic Theater Works Reviewed

I saw Hamlet, but apparently every show this company does is promenade style. The audience follows the cast around and there is not really any scenery. Let me start out by saying I'm not opposed to this idea. I have enough theater hours to know it's where theater started. Now my engineer argues if you want to theater promenade go do a holy play because that's what it was meant for. He says Hamlet needs scenery.

I'm okay without the scenery and quite frankly scenery was the least of this company concerns. I'd give the play a two star rating, but not for $30/ticket.

The director says promenade productions let you interact with the cast, brings the show to life. This is true and it's not. It does allow you up front and optimal visualization and audio, which only works if the cast works. So, when mother fake cried the entire second half of the show it was very obvious that it wasn't real. And the lack of distance did nothing to hide the fact that she held her face the exact same way most of the play.

My biggest problem was the actress that crashed into my knee popping it backwards before hitting her head on my husband's shoe. I wasn't severely injured, but my knee is still sore. The same girl walked into me a second time later. The law school drop out in me says if they want to do shows promenade style they should really set parameters for the actors/audience not to cross. This is a law suit waiting to happen.

Aside from that the costumes were weird. I don't mean abstract but the girls seemed to be dress appropriate for the 50's maybe? While the guys were wearing jeans. Horatio (probably the best actor in the lot) wore modern glasses and looked like Harry Potter. If they didn't have costumes that would have been okay. But having the women dress in 50's attire while the guys wore jean and everyone spoke middle English just didn't resonate.

Last but not least, they had the same people play multiple roles. I've seen this done before, but you usually don't know it's the same actor because the characters are completely different. In this production, when one actor played multiple roles there was no difference from part to part and it was confusing.

The story got told. It wasn't a total loss, but I wouldn't say the quality was there either. I think casting decisions could have been made differently. In honesty, this felt like watching a rehearsal.

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