Mini Reviews: Plays

Thursday, December 11, 2014

After the Fall
by Arthur Miller
★★★ 

Quentin, a lawyer, reflects on his two marriages and his current relationship through a running inner monologue throughout the play. It’s a painfully biographical piece, one that mirrors the playwright’s own life. It chronicles the main character's life as her falls in love with a young woman, his marriage ends, and he gets remarried to the young woman who has now become an international star and sex symbol. 

The second wife, Maggie, is incredibly troubled, insecure, and jealous. She has a drinking and drug problem and is an obvious parallel for Marilyn Monroe. Their relationship is doomed from the start. They are unhappy together because they can't trust each other. 

BOTTOM LINE: The play is so heartbreakingly raw and intimate. Miller was working through his own marriage in this play, and that truthfulness adds a layer of depth that fiction often can’t reach. Not an easy play to read, but very real look at the ways we can harm the people we love the most. 

“I saw clearly only when I saw with love. Or can one ever remember love? It's like trying to summon up the smell of roses in a cellar. You might see a rose, but never the perfume. And that's the truth of roses, 
isn't it? — The perfume?” 
Six Characters in Search of an Author
by Luigi Pirandello
★★★ 

This creepy little one act play is strange but also captivating. A theatre crew is about to start a rehearsal when six people show up asking for help. They need someone to listen to their story and they want to perform it at the theatre. The crew finally agrees and is quickly drawn into the world the create. 

The six people are claiming to be characters created by an author who never completed their story. They want nothing more than to know how their tale ends. The idea for the book alone is enough of a reason to read it.  

BOTTOM LINE: It's an eerie little book and a production I would love to see preformed some day. I'm sure seeing it would pack a bigger punch.  

"Like most people I can only act the part I've chosen for myself, or that's been chosen for me. But as you see, the role sometimes runs away from me, and I get a little melodramatic. All of us do."

4 comments:

bkclubcare said...

I can only imagine! I agree, this looks like something that would be very powerful on stage.

Melissa (Avid Reader) said...

Bkclubcare - Miller's work is always so good on stage!

Jeanne said...

I played Helga in After the Fall during college. It was extremely funny to my friends, because the director thought I looked like a has-been dancer, although the friends kept warning that if I stepped off the pedestal where I spoke my lines, my movements would belie the fiction.

Melissa (Avid Reader) said...

Jeanne - Oh how funny! I love that you can tie these things back to your theater history.