Moby Dick and ADD in the House
After the production of Orson Wells’ only play- Moby Dick-Rehearsed- finished at 11pm on the 18th, I wandered around the Bootleg Theater asking people what they thought of it. “It was like listening to the crackling of a fire while hearing the best ghost story ever.” Another told me it was “ambitious and cutting edge.” The last person I spoke with told me it was “ADD inducing.” While it pains me to say it, I agree.
The plot: In this play within a play, the characters show up to read King Lear, but end up reading through Moby Dick (in old English). The play within the play ends when the whale and the captain die. The big play ends when all the actors walk off stage and call it a night.
The production: This was the culmination of a three day acting workshop by Rob Alder. Adler is the director who brought us The Mind’s Eye: What The Blind See, a play where the audience sits in darkness while a dozen actors generate sound patterns around them. While this cast made great wind and storm noises, they also proved they were talented and energetic performers. Most of the 25-actor strong cast read from their scripts, but it wasn’t a big deal. Just one question though, what was up with the girl who wandered around the stage standing very close to people and walls? I didn’t get it.
Overall, it was the old English- not the actors- that killed my attention span. (I’m not going to name names, but I saw a few others nod off.) From the approving feedback and hearty applause at the end of the show, I think most of the audience enjoyed it. I, however, was representing the unsophisticated contingent who hadn’t read the book and couldn’t focus on the play for more than five minutes. But I definitely wouldn’t ask for my money back. (It was free.)