Friday, February 22, 2008

Review- Holy Ghosts

The Quasi Production of Holy Ghosts created a very nice picture of the human condition and the extremes we will go to when looking for something to believe in or belong to. Most of the acting was superb, rich and believable. The costumes and set complimented the acting to create very full resonant characters.
Unfortunately, these full characters remained mostly flat, and this very nice picture didn't really move anywhere. Most of this fault lies in the script, the large cast of characters each take a turn telling the same basic story, with different particulars. This bogs most of the play down in a sequence of long expositions, which fail to add depth to the characters because each story serves the same purpose, to convert the skeptic. 
Many choices the cast and director made don't help the problem though. The blocking for each lost-and-found tale is almost identical, the sinner stands up, and approaches the skeptic, arm outstretched and hand open.  The character archs are sudden jumps, The lawyer seems converted almost immediately and remains flat through the rest of the play. Coleman is staunchly skeptical and mostly unmoved until his impulsive decision to change sides at the last minute. Likewise for his wife's reverse transition. The choice to handle these conversions as unexpected 180 turns is (i'm guessing) supposed to make them suprising, but instead, they come accross as either predictable or unbeleiveable.
I really enjoyed watching this excellently cast and designed play and got absorbed in it like i would a painting, but left the theatre (by the way, Bucketwork's new space is a vast improvement) feeling like, inspite of all the words and arguments, nothing had been actually said.

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