Drama Talk & Drinks: Are you okay with tangents?

Last month I saw Old Hats at ACT. Bill Irwin is amazing. It was a really fun show, but I think that title would keep younger audiences away. If the theatre wants to get a new generation coming out, and they need to, they should really adopt a more modern naming convention, as this does this column. Katie & Brittany recently saw The Late Wedding, and while the title may not get you out of your chair, they say the play is worth it. Here’s their report:

[photo by Pak Han]

About a year ago Katie read a play called The Hundred Flowers Project by Christopher Chen in Theatre Bay Area magazine. She liked it so much she told Brittany “Whenever another Christopher Chen play is produced, we need to go”. That time arrived. Crowded Fire Theater Company commissioned the world premiere of Chen’s new work, The Late Wedding, and it’s now playing at The Thick House.

Katie: I really enjoyed the freshness of the format and devices Chen used. It really brought the audience into the story, and I liked that. I thought the staging was really neat, and the set was awesome. It was so inventive and the use of the space was creative, just that alone is worth seeing.

Brittany: I was continuously interested. At times I felt like the play was throwing me around, but it was fun how the playwright acknowledged it. I loved the asides to the audience, where they said, “That was weird huh, this is why” or “Relax and just go with it”. In the opening monologue we’re told to “trust the play and let it take you somewhere”, so after that I was open to it taking me anywhere, even though I didn’t always know where it was going.

K: Do you think this is a good play for the non-theater going audience? At first I thought yes, but at the same time its such a nerdy, cerebral, wordy play that I think someone who sees theater a lot would appreciate it more. However, it’s also really fresh. I think someone who isn’t a big theater person would really enjoy the devices that were used to get into the audience’s heads. So I’m torn.

B: I think it’s a great play for people who are interested in exploring vastly different ways of looking at the same topic. You have to be kinda introspective, or at least interested in examining human behavior. This isn’t necessarily a happy-go-lucky play. The kind that is so funny anyone would enjoy it. But, if you are interested in intellectual questions about relationships and what relationships mean to humans, then even if you don’t usually like theater this might be a good play for you.

The Verdict: Do you find the idea of relationships and marriage fascinating, at least from an anthropological perspective? Are you okay with tangents? Then you will really enjoy this 80 minute extremely inventive piece of theater.

The Drama Talk: This is a very well written and directed play. The quality of acting varies, but the writing and production makes it worth seeing. Given the size limitations of the The Thick House, this set design took staging to the limits. It was polished, fascinating to watch, and a smart fast-paced look into how people think about relationships.

The Drinks: Last time we were at The Thick House we discovered a neighborhood dive bar called Bloom’s Saloon that has now become one of our favorite spots. We walked up the street 2 blocks and spent $6 on a hibiscus vodka with soda and lime for Brittany, and a vodka and ginger ale for Katie.

The Late Wedding runs through 10/11 at The Thick House and tickets can be purchased through their website. Ticket prices vary from $15-$30. The company offers the following discounts: Student Tickets are always $15! (Please bring ID). Seniors (65+), TBA/TCG Members: $3 off at checkout. Groups of 5 or more receive an automatic 15% savings at checkout. There are also tickets available on Goldstar for $12.50.


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