The Typographer's Dream
by Les Gutman
Is it important? Do you define it? Or have you let it define you?
You may see all of this as an empty exercise, but if you allow yourself to think about it for, say, an hour or so, you may come to think differently. This, in a nutshell, is the principal achievement of The Typographer's Dream, a surprising and fascinating play that also manages to be exceptionally funny.
The play commences with three seemingly unconnected characters sitting a three tables: Margaret, a typographer (Meg MacCary), Annalise, a geographer (Kate Hampton) and Dave, stenographer (Dan Snook). Each has what could be described as a poetic sense of what they do for a living, but all are fraught with degrees of unconvincing enthusiasm. Annalise sees geography as a science, and yet is confronted with the fact it is tainted with politics and, worse yet, business. Dave waxes philosophic about the significance of court reporting, yet every fiber of his body reveals a sensitivity to its essentially vicarious nature. And then there is Margaret, who is often at a loss for words to explain the value of her chosen field. But when she finally figures out what to say, she is especially poignant.
Playwright Adam Bock limns these characters in an abundance of short scenes -- some only a line or two in length. At first, the characters step on each other's dialogue without interacting, but as the play progresses, we learn of the connection between them. Along the way, Bock offers up meditations on a host of subjects: in particular, the notion of self and more generally, the chasm between that which is and that which is portrayed. All point to a remarkable self-examination which is contagious. Under Drew Barr's punchy direction, the three quirky performances blossom. Although the show bogs down slightly about two-thirds of the way through, for the most part, both playwright and director succeed and maintaining our attention.
All three performers are outstanding. Meg MacCary's Margaret is the most touching, Kate Hampton's Annalise the most animated and Dan Snook's Dave, the most entertaining. All leapfrog through the script with aplomb.
Now what is my job again?
At This Theater
Leonard Maltin's 2003 Movie and Video Guide
Ridiculous!The Theatrical Life & Times of Charles Ludlam
Somewhere For Me, a Biography of Richard Rodgers
The New York Times Book of Broadway: On the Aisle for the Unforgettable Plays of the Last Century
6, 500 Comparative Phrases including 800 Shakespearean Metaphors by CurtainUp's editor.
Click image to buy.
Go here for details and larger image.