CurtainUp
CurtainUp

The Internet Theater Magazine of Reviews, Features, Annotated Listings
www.curtainup.com


HOME PAGE

SITE GUIDE

SEARCH

ADVERTISING AT CURTAINUP

REVIEWS

FEATURES

NEWS
Etcetera and
Short Term Listings


LISTINGS
Broadway
Off-Broadway

NYC Restaurants

BOOKS and CDs

OTHER PLACES
Berkshires
London
California
New Jersey
Philadelphia
Elsewhere

QUOTES

TKTS

PLAYWRIGHTS' ALBUMS

LETTERS TO EDITOR

FILM

LINKS

MISCELLANEOUS
Free Updates
Masthead
Writing for Us

A CurtainUp Los Angeles Review
Old Times


There are things I remember which may never have happened but as I recall them so they take place.— Anna
OLD TIMES
Cecelia Specht & Cerris Morgan-Moyer
(Photo: David Elzer)
Twisting your memories sounds like a theme for a science fiction movie but itís been twisting Harold Pinterís mind since his early days as a playwright. Old Times, written in 1971, is one of his most fascinating and provocative, given an intuitive production by director John Pleshette at The Lost Studio, as part of its ongoing Pinter project.

Deeley (Dan Cowan), a film director, and his beautiful wife Kate (Cecilia Specht) are visited by Kateís former roommate Anna (Cerris Morgan-Moyer), now the wife of a wealthy European who is at home in their villa on Sicily. In 100 taut minutes Deeley and Anna engage in a subtle duel that began long ago, a power struggle for intimacy and knowledge with the enigmatic Kate as its focus. They are curious and jealous. Their stories are presented as memories but they are as interchangeable as the speakersí identities and could just as well be imagination. Deeley said he chose a wife whose "only claim to virtue was silence." Anna calls Kate "stubbornly private." Deeley says he believes when he met Anna she was pretending to be Kate, even to wearing Kateís underwear.

It would be simplistic to say itís all about sex, although that effluvia permeates every minute. Itís more as if Anna and Deeley want to find out who they really are, why they fell in love with Kate and what that has made of them. The most emotional spears are lines from popular songs which the two sing alternately, both to Kate and to top each otherís quotes, reminiscent of Noel Cowardís line about the power of cheap music. Deeley sings sardonically to Anna, "When a lovely flame dies," to which she pointedly sings back, "Smoke gets in your eyes."

Why was Deeley driven to tears long ago and tonight? Why does Kate, in her long final monologue, tell Anna she remembers her dead? Is it a decision, a memory, a wish? Pinter brings the subconscious vividly and dramatically to life in a play thatís funny, inscrutable, makes no sense and plunges deep.

One of Pinterís favorite topics is the differences between men and women, how they fight and how they love. As Kate, Specht has an air of aloofness, amusement and a power that itís unnecessary to wield. Cowanís Deeley reacts directly, attacks more bluntly and questions more obviously. Cowan plays him without intellectuality, trying to fight the silken miasma of the women with weapons he doesnít understand. Morgan-Meyer plays Anna as a sophisticate who still has the look of a country girl who would admire, emulate and perhaps desire a mysterious beauty like Kate. The three prowl around Christopher Kuhlís elegant set with its scarlet divans, sleek sculptures and Martinis like animals on the scent of something maddening, essential and unknowable.

For more about Harold Pinter's work including quotes and links to other plays we've reviewed, see our Harold Pinter Backgrounder

OLD TIMES
Playwright: Harold Pinter
Director: John Pleshette
Cast: Cecilia Specht (Kate), Dan Cowan (Deeley), Cerris Morgan-Moyer (Anna).
Scenic and Lighting Design: Christopher Kuhl
Musical Director: Lynn Pleshette
Running Time: 100 minutes, one intermission
Running Dates: March 7-April 13, 2008
Where: The Lost Studio, 130 S. La Brea, Los Angeles, Reservations: (800) 595-4849/
Reviewed by Laura Hitchcock on March 7
Google
 
Web    
www.curtainup.com


broadway musicals: the 101 greatest shows of all time
Easy-on-the budget super gift for yourself and your musical loving friends. Tons of gorgeous pictures.


Leonard Maltin's Classic Movie Guide
Leonard Maltin's 2007 Movie Guide


broadwaynewyork.com


The Broadway Theatre Archive>


amazon



©Copyright 2008, Elyse Sommer.
Information from this site may not be reproduced in print or online without specific permission from esommer@curtainup.com