|The cast of Seminar|
As a theater enthusiast I knew the ensemble company lead by Alan Rickman would be witnessing Broadway gold. And the acting was pretty wonderful (though each actor played or was directed to play the entire show on one note: one delivery: one thought).
As an audience member, I left the show feeling the magnificent scene change was the best part of the play.
I'm trying to determine what 'went wrong' for me (and I say for me as I have found glowing reviews online for this show). Though the two I attended the show with both felt the same at the end; each thinking the other must be enjoying this new comedy and it was 'just us' feeling let down.
In a nutshell, the play is about a group of writers who pay a mentor $5,000 each to work with them for 10 weeks on their writing. A mentor that can rip them apart by reading the first line of their manuscript. (Yes, Alan Rickman's character would have stopped reading my blog after the first sentence.) The group sit around pontificating about art and what determines a good writer and honestly never goes much further than that.
Or am I just so obtuse that I can't experience the nuances that playwright Theresa Rebeck is articulating in her word choices in this piece? After all, she is a Pulitzer Prize finalist and Peabody Award winner while I've only won a best score award for a musical and a finalist in the USA Best Book Awards.
Those that know me and my writing know you don't get the flowery fifty dollar words when reading my work. Nor is that who I am as a reader. I realize there are all kinds in the world and that's what makes reading so great. We get choices. My choice leans towards stories that make me feel something. That challenge me as a person - not challenge how many large words I can come up with to string together in a complicated piece of prose that causes a reader to REREAD a sentence because they didn't get it. I find movies and plays show this one archetype - the writer who is always deeply thinking and can't live in the real world.
Perhaps that was my problem with the entire thing as a play. Not that it was because I didn't feel I was represented on that stage (as people know I'm always in my head: my world is just less Ivy League and more street). But because this play did not transport me anywhere! Because it didn't go anywhere. It stayed on a loop, caught up in its on witty banter and jargon while characters attempted to find themselves. Something we've seen over and over and that New York audiences tend to eat up with a silver spoon.
You may absolutely find you love it on your next trip to NYC. Many of the larger reviewers did. It must speak to who I am that the reviewer that comes closest to saying how I felt was a smaller review with amNewYork.
I did find one thing rather telling. I'm sure it was meant as a joke in this 'comedy' - but in my life...it has actually rang true.
"An editor is there to show you what you meant in your writing, even when you didn't know you meant it."
Thank God us non-pedantic writers have editors that can find all the symbolism and meaning in our trite work - what would we do without them? <wink>