Thursday, February 17, 2011


I saw my friend's play last night and was floored. "disOriented" is a Korean family drama and my friend is Kyoung Park. The writing was painterly, evocative, and precise. The twists in the plot played beautifully with a great cast of actors. The sets, costumes, directing, it all flowed together. It's taken 5 years for 'disOriented" to be developed, rewritten, tweaked, redrafted, recast, re-everything but it appears to have paid off splendidly.

Now, one waits for the reviews and who knows how that goes. I'm hoping it gets NYTimes recommend and extended or remounted at a bigger space. I remember seeing "Bach at Leipizig" a few years ago at New York Theatre Workshop. Stunned. Enormously pleased, fluid, and ornate like the legendary fugues of Bach's time. I walked out of there beaming and assuring my friend 'this is a homerun.' The next week the reviews came out and they were savage. Apparently Tom Stoppard isn't in fashion, so anything resembling the wordsmith gets hacked to pieces. Yet, I bet if I were to read or remount "Bach" years later it would play as brilliantly as it did that night. I was looking it at in a vacuum of the work itself, and not in comparison to others or in regard to the status of the writer. It still remains one of the most enjoyable experiences I've had in the theatre.

'disOriented,' I'm pretty sure will be heralded (but I was sure last time). It really is terrible to have to pour one's heart into something for years and then leave it up to a small committee of 4-5 reviews in New York to decide if it worthy. As a former reviewer I am conflicted. I understand the importance of critique and analysis, and yet I'm disappointed in how dependent theatre is on not just good reviews, but amazing reviews.

The actors, director, writer all deserve their day in the sun. I hope for the best.

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