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|A CurtainUp Review
The Home for Lost Boys
By Jenny Sandman
The boys, Kirio, Gallis, and Jip, are being raised by their caretaker, Mr. Newman. Their parents and older brother were killed defending the land. Now that Jip is about to turn 18, the boys stand to inherit the house and land. But a strange boy, Iggy, shows up days before the transfer, claiming his great-grandparents actually owned the propery first. They were forcibly removed, and Iggy claims to have proof of prior ownership. The boys begin to fight, each faction trying to drive the other out. Then they try to split the property with fences, which doesn't work either. The final fight ends in a disaster that destroys the house. The parallels would be obvious without constantly referring to them as such. By the end, it feels as we've been watching an exercise in beating a dead horse.
The play is also dramaturgically messy. It's too long by half, with not enough story to sustain forward movement. It drags and almost stops completely at some points, relying on too much character development to pull it forward. And, like most plays about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, it neither tells us anything new or illuminates the conflict in any new and interesting way. The play is also shrill--as you might expect, there's a lot of fighting, and a lot of yelling. The characters come across as annoying, since Weiner neglects to give the audience any basis for emotional involvement with the boys. A much older man plays a 17-year-old boy, with predictably confusing results. There are weird, loud sound collages between scenes--honking horns, Internet dial-up noises--that have nothing to do with the rest of the play. To make matters worse, the performances are flat, and director Renee Blinkwolt failed to rein in the actors' more animated tendencies.
A good dramaturg could have saved the play. A strong director could have saved the production.
Easy-on-the budget super gift for yourself and your musical loving friends. Tons of gorgeous pictures.
Retold by Tina Packer of Shakespeare & Co.
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At This Theater
Leonard Maltin's 2005 Movie Guide
Ridiculous!The Theatrical Life & Times of Charles Ludlam
6, 500 Comparative Phrases including 800 Shakespearean Metaphors by CurtainUp's editor.
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