28 July 2006: Margulies, Sight Unseen

New Century Theatre. Theatre 14, Smith College. Directed by Ed Golden

About an artist who, unlikely though it seems, become so popular that people will pay high prices for his work, sight unseen, even before he has executed it. But the artist himself, the more popular he becomes, the more obviously reveals himself as morally vacant and not really connected with the people in his life. So, something of a moral tale, or morally inflected inquiry into the relationship between the art, or more specifically artistic creation, and life.

Sounds promising, perhaps, but we come to dislike the artist, Jonathan Waxman (get it?). And the broken chronology, in which we go back into the past, at the end of each of two acts, to visit the antecedents of the present action, doesn’t result in anything really revelatory. B +.

Well acted, and the usual high production standards were in evidence. In the very last scene, between Jonathan and Patricia (played by the winning Cate Damon, Sam Rush’s beautiful wife), what with the previous references to Patricia having posed in the nude for Jonathan in art school, we go back to the art school days and are pleasantly nagged by the possibility that Cate Damon will take her clothes off. Of course, she doesn’t. Damn.


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An American Playgoer at Home by Joseph Donohue is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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