The Internet Theater Magazine of Reviews, Features, Annotated Listings

A CurtainUp Review
The Typographer's Dream

by Les Gutman
A world with different typography would be an entirely different world.
---Margaret the Typographer
Before you read the rest of this review, pause for a moment and contemplate your job.

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?

The Typographer's Dream
by Adam Bock
Directed by Drew Barr
with Meg MacCary, Kate Hampton and Dan Snook
Set Design: David Morris
Lighting Design: Juliet Chia
Costume Design: Kim Gill
Sound Design: Kai Harada
A production of Clubbed Thumb
Running time: 1 hours 15 minutes with no intermission
HERE, 145 Avenue of the Americas (@Dominick)
Telephone: (212) 647-0202
FRI - SUN @7:30 (extra performance 2/17); $15
Opening February 9, 2003, closing February 23, 2003
Reviewed by Les Gutman based on 2/2/03 performance
At This Theater Cover
At This Theater

Leonard Maltin's 2003 Movie and Video Guide
Leonard Maltin's 2003 Movie and Video Guide

Ridiculous! The Theatrical Life and Times of Charles Ludlam
Ridiculous!The Theatrical Life & Times of Charles Ludlam

Somewhere For Me, a Biography of Richard Rodgers
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
The New York Times Book of Broadway: On the Aisle for the Unforgettable Plays of the Last Century

metaphors dictionary cover
6, 500 Comparative Phrases including 800 Shakespearean Metaphors by CurtainUp's editor.
Click image to buy.
Go here for details and larger image.

The Broadway Theatre Archive


©Copyright 2003,CurtainUp.
Information from this site may not be reproduced in print or online without specific permission from