Last night, Ledcat and I attended the premiere of “Huntera Gatherera” at the Bricolage theater company on Liberty Avenue. It was part of a “bloggers night” event.
Overall, I liked the space and most of the technical elements of the show — the staging, the costumes, the lighting, even the deafening set change sounds. Ledcat thinks the seats were from the Warhol Museum so I like that, too. The acting was good, not great and here is why.
I didn't like the play. It was way over the top in terms of hyper-drama-dark comedy. I absolutely stopped chuckling and smiling in the scene where one “hetero” husband has the other pinned to the couch ready to rape him to prove his manhood. I just didn't think that was comedy.
Ledcat thinks I was too rigid and missing out on the theme of repression of homosexuality. Could be, but the entire play lacked any subtlety so who knows?
Essentially, four high school friends gather each year on prom night for a dinner date. I know this may sound bad, but it was not at all believable that the four actors were 35 or could play 35. Two yes, but not all four. And those sort of things matter. The acting was fine and kept with the over the top storyline, but I just didn't believe the one woman was young enough to get pregnant much less go to high school with the other. Then I became obsessed with speculating how old she really was until Ledcat kicked me and told me to stop whispering. I feel like a bad feminist, but I'm just being honest.
What I learned about Bricolage captured my attention. I will absolutely go back. They even had a dog wandering around the theater carrying a barbie doll in a princess dress (his name was Odie – don't tell the American Family Council). There was a fun quiz to determine if you are a hunter or gatherer. I'm a hunter. Ledcat gathers. We got stickers.
I wonder if that's why I didn't respond to the play? It reminded me of myself a bit too much? I'm not really going to put that much thought into the deeper reasons b/c there was also my aesthetic response to actual food being dropped on the floor and then consumed. I was writhing with disgust even tho it did fit the plot. But food messiness is a big issue with me. This was not the play for me.
Kudos to Bricolage for tapping into bloggers. I realize my review may not encourage you to see the play, but I hope you'll rethink it. I'm glad I went and it is okay to not connect with some art. It is also good to encourage smaller initiatives, support the various unions (these days especially) and escape your comfort zone once in awhile.
Ledcat also thinks I was stymied because I had to turn off my Blackberry on blogger night. Tis true I was writhing in my seat when killer tweet moments emerged.
Please support the arts in Pittsburgh, even when your opinion is that you don't like something. That's okay. It would be a tremendously boring world if we all responded the same way to art. And it would make art itself meaningless.