I’m in between theater-related trips today, giving me just enough time to post the weekly Wall Street Journal drama-column teaser before hitting the road again. Most of my column is devoted to a report on the Georgia Shakespeare Festival, followed by a capsule review of Pig Farm:
Unless you live in Georgia, you probably don’t think of Atlanta as a center of American regional theater. Yet it’s home to a dozen serious companies, enough to keep a good actor working year round–and to allow the Georgia Shakespeare Festival, the city’s best-known summer theater, to put together an ensemble of Atlanta-based artists instead of importing itinerant out-of-towners. In some cities that would be a guarantee of mediocrity, but there’s nothing provincial about Georgia Shakespeare’s “Twelfth Night,” a blunt, bawdy romp directed by Karen Robinson that leaves just enough room for romance in between the slapstick.
No production of Shakespeare’s dizziest comedy of mistaken sexual identity can take wing without a Viola who looks smashing in pants, and Courtney Patterson, who spends the greater part of the evening decked out in riding togs, fills the bill. Gangly, big-eyed and touchingly eager, she serves as the play’s emotional center, and her affecting performance frees the rest of the cast to chase uninhibitedly after laughter….
“Pig Farm” is a crazy-quilt pastiche stitched together out of bits and pieces of “Tobacco Road,” “The Postman Always Rings Twice,” and God only knows how many other half-remembered films and TV shows. It’s as subtle as a whoopee cushion–a really, really loud whoopee cushion–but it kept the audience laughing pretty much continuously, which is, after all, the point….
No link, of course, so be so kind as to buy a copy of Friday’s Journal, or go here to subscribe to the paper’s online edition–an unbelievable bargain, if I do say so myself.