Theatre Fight!

There's something wonderfully nerdy going on over on the Slog. It seems that a number of Stranger staffers went to see Intiman's A Streetcar Named Desire. Then one of them (Editor Christopher Frizzelle) posted about how much he looooved it. Then another one of 'em (Visual Arts Editor Jen Graves) got on to say how much she did not love it. Then our own Professor Kiley got in on the action by posting his, y'know, official and sanctioned and sanctified review of the show, and, well...just see for yourself. Here's the digest version (caution: links contain coarse language):

Frizzelle: "I’d always thought of Streetcar (which I’d only ever read) as a cheesy, mid-century melodrama, a scenery-as-food piece, but I was totally carried along by the performances that Sheila Daniels (profiled by Brendan Kiley last week) got out of these actors."

Graves: "For me, this Streetcar was flat. It had a sort of acceptable forgettableness...The interpretations of the three main characters struck me this way: bad (Blanche), not quite good (Stanley), better than she had any right to be (Stella). When the main attraction is Stella, your Streetcar’s off the rails."

Other point
Kiley: "Those able to tear themselves from the image of Saint Brando will see new dimensions in Tennessee Williams’s icon of masculine inadequacy and rage...The wound in this Streetcar—and it’s a gaping, festering one—is the “Blue Piano,”...The ominous notes that followed Blanche’s revelation that her first husband was gay are egregiously goofy. But Daniels has coaxed quality, multihued performances out of her actors." (Sorry, Kiley's writing doesn't lend itself to easy pull-quoting.)

Schmader (in the comments from Kiley's post): "I agree with Brendan and Christopher and disagree with Jen and Mary McCarthy...The woman who played Stella was the standout, but I thought the actors behind Blanche and Stanley both brought something new to the roles...But the sound design is a hate crime."

Frizzelle (again): "Jen Graves...practices criticism when she writes about art but merely deploys synonyms for “I don’t like it” when she writes about plays on Slog that she thinks I have thought too highly of...(Right, Ms. Graves?) “Bad” how? “Better” how?"

Graves (again): "Mr. Frizzelle... Should we trust your take on Streetcar when your take is essentially that it’s great because it doesn’t suck the way you expected it to?"

And then things simmered down, at least online. But my point is this: there's no right way to look at, or think about, art. Even high-falutin' professional critics who get paid for their opinions don't always agree (in fact, they probably disagree at a higher-than-average rate.) Also, I read Slog too much.

Did you see Streetcar? Yeah? What did you think of it? Leave your comments on our reviewer, Sophia B's, review.
TeenTix Logo
Sign Up


Create an account | Reset your password