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Our Town director David Cromer
Our Town
Our Town
Our Town
Age Suitability None Specified
Category Theater

Our Town

Wednesday, Dec 26, 2012 2:00p

"When the theatre pretends to give the real thing in canvas and wood and metal," playwright Thornton Wilder wrote, "it loses something of the realer thing which is its true business." Director David Cromer's stark production aspires to Wilder's "realer thing" and achieves it. - Jeffrey Gantz, Globe Correspondent

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Location & Nearby Info
Stanford Calderwood Pavilion
527 Tremont St.
Boston Center for the Arts
Boston, MA 02116
(617) 266-0800
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Reviews & Comments
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(no rating) December 13, 2012 - Boston.com - Jeffrey Gantz, Globe Correspondent

The thing about Thornton Wilder’s 1938 Pulitzer Prize winner, “Our Town,” is that he really wanted it to be your town. To that end, he stripped his stage bare. “When the theatre pretends to give the real thing in canvas and wood and metal,” he wrote in his preface to the play, “it loses something of the realer thing which is its true business.” The houses of Dr. Gibbs and Mr. Webb are suggested by a pair of vine-and-flower-covered trellises. (“There’s some scenery for those who think they have to have scenery,” the Stage Manager explains.) For the rest, you’re encouraged to use your imagination.

(Full review)
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(no rating) Dec. 6, 2012 - Boston.com - Christopher Wallenberg, Globe Correspondent

In the 74 years since Thornton Wilder’s landmark “Our Town” premiered on Broadway, the fictional village of Grover’s Corners, N.H., has become a familiar place.

(Full review)
1 review
Jan 20, 2013 - barowskyresearch
One star is far too generous

Having nearly 16 hours to process this production of "the most produced play ever" gives me the feeling one must have if they were to hit their head against a wall for that same period of time. In my 30 years plus of attending the theatre, in settings and locales far and wide, subjected to all myriads of interpretations of classics and unknowns - this must go down as one of the absolutely worst productions of any show I have ever seen.

Boring doesn't begin to describe it, uniformly poorly acted begins to approach the level of quality that is presented as "stunning". The casting is bad, the "stripped down" approach is true to it's form (stripped of costumers, makeup, set, lighting, directing, mood) and the complete lack of energy evokes a rehearsal of high school students not professional actors and aspiring dramatists.

It took about 5 minutes of the opening monologue from the stage manager to make me look at my watch in painful anticipation of the first intermission - until, at last, freedom to leave this unwatchable experience. Makes sense now why they don't let you leave once the show has begun (if this were Kiss of the Spider Woman that would have at least given us the same sense of imprisonment).

So how, I wonder could anyone find this show even tolerable never the less "brilliant" as all the reviews and advertising proclaims. Maybe it is a matter of "the emperor's new clothes" syndrome. Somewhere along the line someone took this for some definition of "good" or they didn't want to insult the director and it simply snowballed. What was initially "intriguing" or even "innovative" (I really have to spit that word out) garnered intrigue and enthusiasm. It's a puzzle like escaping the Minotaur - you need the string to back track your way out.

My wife, who somehow was able to stomach the show was able to offer faint praise with a meek and placating - "it got better"...I can't imagine how (unless wisdom overtook mediocrity and they just simply - stopped).

Even in the hallways at "the interval" I could hear whisperings of (again, kindly phrased) "it's...interesting". Let's be blunt - interesting here is a synonym for bad!

In fact, watching Huntington productions themselves (I've seen three of four in the past two years) is a somewhat bizarre experience in itself. One production is "ok" the next "spectacular" (no irony implied - Candide was in contrast one of the BEST productions I have ever seen - right up there with Jeune Lune's production of L'enfant du Paradis), to this one which, as I've stated, was unwatchable..

Alas however this review comes all too late for those unwashed masses who have had their money (and worst - their time) stolen in order to be forewarned. But there may be hope since, as the expression goes: those of us who refuse to remember history, are condemned to relive it. What a depressing thought when it comes to this production of "Our Town"

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