Sunday, November 15, 2009

Our Town

I ended up changing my evening plans to see Thornton Wilder's Our Town based on the urging of my friend who's putting me up in my new digs for the remainder of my trip. I'd never seen or read the play before and was in fact a little wary; the strangeness of Wilder's The Skin of Our Teeth was a bit too much for me to wrap my head around when I was in it a few years back, and so I had let it pass by. Apparently this is something of an accomplishment, because the play is a perennial favorite of high school theatre.

This made everything about the play that people know so well--the interactions of its characters, its deceptively straightforward narration--an interesting surprise for me, enhanced by the 3/4 thrust staging that puts much of the action in the midst of the audience. I was intrigued and carried by the story as it unfolded, and touched and taken by the grim musings of the third act. Then came a much ballyhooed twist--which even I, a lowly blogger, dare not write--that made the play's ending the biggest gut-punch I've ever felt in a theatrical production.

It also, additionally, made for a nice corrective to last night's drearily disappointing Kitsch, or Two for the Price of One.

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