Friday, January 9, 2009

The very belated theatric review of DUST.

First of all, it's been a while since I've last seen a straight play. In fact, it's been almost a year since I was blown away by the off-broadway performance of Apartment 3A, penned by Jeff Daniels. Dust wasn't nearly as good as that performance, but it did have some excellent qualities about it.

For instance,
the scenery and stage set up was extraordinary. Sliding sets made it easy for quick scene changes and it never distracted or took away from the overall movement of the plot.

Speaking of the plot...

Dust, written by Billy Goda, is billed as a dark thriller. Which makes about as much sense to me as pig latin. The plot involves the two main characters of business entrepreneur, Martin Stone and ex-con, Zeke Catchman as they escalate a conflict that, literally, started from dust.

While working out in a hotel gym, Martin notices a coating of dust on the air vent above the treadmill. He notifies Zeke of his obnoxious complaint, who refuses to comply to Martin's request that he clean the vent himself. In the end Martin has Zeke fired from his job, which leaves ball in Zeke's court.

It's all very silly.

I understand the concept, and it's actually quite creative at first glance. Yet my problem with this particular performance is that the characters are completely underdeveloped. The character with the most depth is Martin's daugher/Zeke's romantic interest, Jenny, and she doesn't have nearly enough stage-time throughout the run time of the show.

There's stalking, property damage, crack addiction, money, sex and booze.
But in it's attempts to be thrilling, the plot points are really just about as deep as the characters.

I won't say I didn't enjoy it. I did.
I thought it had a great deal of potential and who ever was chosen to create the sets for this play deserves to be commended because it created a very intimate atmosphere.

The chemistry between the characters of Zeke and Jenny was also easily felt.
I just didn't find the conflict, in general, convincing enough.

And while I adore ambiguous endings, this just seemed like they weren't sure where to end it.

I'm still glad I saw it. It was nice to be reminded of the plays that aren't musicals, and I'm going to plan a trip to see Equus sometime soon.

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