Saturday, January 22, 2005

Art by Yasmine Raza

This incredible Tony Award Winning play was sponsored by both Town and Gown (a longstanding local 'community" theater) and The Georgia (as in University) Museum of Art This dynamic play that explored the questions of "What is Art?" and "Why am I your best friend?" starred the incredibly talented Speedy Arnold as Yvan, Rick Rose as Marc, and Jeff Evans as Serge.

When I read this play I was very impressed with it. I really liked how the only difference between these men (as far as their apartments go) was the painting on their wall which symbolized the man. For Serge it was the white painting, which symbolized how he was "a man of his time" and proud of it. For Marc it was the pseudo-Flemish painting which symbolized how he valued traditional things. And for Yvan it was the "hotel painting" that his father painted which symbolized how he cared more about people than about the values they held.

I could go on and on about this play itself, but I'd rather talk about the particular performance I saw and just leave you with the recommendation that if you haven't already you either see it or read it as soon as possible.

I loved this play when I read it but seeing (as usual) was much better than reading it. For example Yvan was a much more dynamic character than I imagined. Speedy Arnold brought warmth and humor to the character that made me realize why he was as indecisive and easygoing (and unable to form an opinion as he was) . It really impressed me to see such a veteran actor as Rick Rose play a father-figure like Marc. I'm not sure, but I think he and Serge are and were supposed to be older than Yvan. I liked that.

One scene that really stood out to me was where Marc destroys the painting. When I read the play I saw it as a negative destructive act but through the exellent direction of Allen Rowell, the cast brought out how this act was a step forward in reconciling their friendship.

The lighting and set weren't all that impressive, but the GMOA has a small auditorium and limited resources. I thought they did an excellent job (as always) with what they had. The only problem I had a was I couldn't see everything because the stage was on the same level with the audience.

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