Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Thoughts on "Portrait"

Since our discussion of "Portrait" is not until Thursday's class, I thought I'd post my thoughts here. Because of my production lab assignment, I was not able to see "Portrait" over the weekend. Instead, I saw the first rehearsal in the Lab Theater last Tuesday.

I really enjoyed this production. It had the sort of conflict that really holds my interest: Family conflict, love, sex, indecency, suggestion. It had it all. And I especially enjoyed Erin Phillips' portrayal of Alice Neel.

I also jotted down a couple of notes on some of the things that caught my attention:

At the top of the show, when Nancy handed Alice a cup of tea or coffee, she stood there for a while holding it out to Alice. It was kind of awkward to watch, and I'm not sure if it was something that was worked out later. It may be that the timing was off because it was the first rehearsal in the performance space.

In Scene 2, when Hartley and Richard were talking after coming home from a night out, their conversation was unnatural. Not that the dialogue iteslf was unnatural, they just weren't flowing. It was pretty choppy.

Later, when Alice was painting David, she looked like she was faking it. I didn't think she looked at him enough to make me believe that she was painting him.

That was all I managed to write down, but after reading other peoples' accounts of "Portrait," I have to agree with some of what was said:

I too found it hard to believe that Hartley was the ladies' man. I don't think his character was developed enough to suggest that he was the one who got the ladies. He just didn't seem as strong a character as Richard, thus it was hard to simply believe what was said about him during one scene. I also felt like the "Marry me" was out of place.

About the clothes racks, I figured they were on stage because the performance I saw was a rehearsal. I didn't think they would stay on stage through the actual run.

And I'll leave you with some of my favorite quotes:

"Who can understand a person? We're a nasty bunch."
"They belong to whoever looks at them. Don't you think?"
"Where do you think you came from, the back of a cabbage leaf?"

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