Tuesday, December 05, 2006
Kate Crackernuts at A.R.T.
Last weekend I took a study break to drive up to Boston with my playwright friend Enrique and his director friend Ken to see KATE CRACKERNUTS at A.R.T. The production was performed by the student company.
First off, what a trippy, fantastic playworld! Sheila Callaghan has done a masterful job of creating a tossed-salad underbelly of a playworld. Riffing on the fairy-tale of a pair of mismatched step-sisters (one fancy, one plain), and a pair of mis-matched princes (one serious, one exhasted), she weaves a labyrinth that brings us to its dark, sticky center, and then wheels us out into the universe bypassing traditional fairytale convention.
The company gave a well conceived and energy laden performance, with only a couple of missteps. Kat's fist monologue was played as an upbeat ball o' wonder, when the text pointed to something more along the lines of the burden of responsibilty once one recoginizes the enormity of wonderous things. It took the company bout twenty minutes to relax into the text. Before that it seemed thety were ernestly "selling" the language, rather than living in the language, letting its flux drive the work. The dance at the begginning was interesting, but sexless. All energy and sweat, but no seduction. I wondered if that was the prupose, until later in the play the text decribes the world of the fairy-rave as full of sex. Hmmm.
A key moment with the deceased baby and the rattle was glossed over, and on the way home my companions and I discussed at length what the playwright's actual intent with the moment had been. It seemed like it should have been more thourough, or examined more, but instead there was a hole of non-moment. Hmmmm.
This are a few minor quibbles with a fun, dark exploration of a crazy, sweaty, green fairy tale. We left the theater skipping and trading our favorite lines of dialogue, a whole litany of "I loved the part when..."
I'm really glad I went.