Thursday, May 07, 2009

Defending The Philanthropist

I don't know what's up with me, The New York Times, and plays at the American Airlines Theatre. I saw 2009 Tony non-nominee Hedda Gabler when it was at the theater and felt that it didn't deserve the harshness in Ben Brantley's review. I mean, it wasn't the greatest Hedda Gabler imaginable, but it was all right.

And now I have similar feelings about Sara Krulwich's review of 2009 non-nominee The Philanthropist Hedda Gabler's successor. If you read her review, you'll see that while she had understandable praise for the costuming and the performances of Jonathan Cake, Anna Madeley, and Steven Weber, she ultimately laid into the production for its "sheer dullness" and Matthew Broderick's turn in the title role.

My feelings about the production are similar to the ones I have about Hedda Gabler. I'd agree that Broderick's interpretation is problematic but I still enjoyed the play, including the performances of the aforementioned thespians as well as Jennifer Mudge and Tate Ellington, who round out the cast along with Samantha Soule, who does fine subtle work being reached over by Cake. (See it and you'll see what I mean.) I was intrigued by the play's quirky structure as it unfolded and I enjoyed the surprises and the humor, which includes some clever punning. There were some dull moments, but overall I found it worthwhile. I was also intrigued by similarities between characters in The Philanthropist and Hedda Gabler as well as similarities between The Philanthropist and the 2009 Tony-nominated production The Norman Conquests. Plus I love what the play has to say about...cigarettes!

Source (5:03)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Big surprise. Another TV show has been produced with an agenda. MORE CALCULATED PR CRAP FOR THE RICH. 'The Philanthropist' hasn't even premiered yet. But I know what to expect. More brainwash plots: 'The rich are good'. 'The rich are smart'. 'The rich are sexy'. 'The rich create jobs'. 'The rich pay more taxes'. 'The rich give back'. 'The rich want to make the world a better place'. Of course, they will villianize the occasional rich 'outlaw' or 'scumbag'. But the group as a whole will be shown in a positive light. More caring, more compassionate, more generous, ect. At least those who take up 'philanthropy' or 'good will'. Which in the real world, as they know, as they plan, as they deliberately publicize, includes ALL OF THEM. What a sham. Its already quite evident that the lead character will be another filthy rich 'good guy'. Of course, the same old plugs for medical testing, pharmaceuticals, universities, credit cards, and world travel will be thrown in. EVERY SINGLE EPISODE. Afterall, NBC has greedy coorporate sponsors and a juggernaut parent company to cater to. Go ahead and watch. But don't be their little puppet. DON'T FALL FOR THE CALCULATED PR CRAP. REMEMBER: EVERY SINGLE TOP EXECUTIVE ON THE PLANET HAS TAKEN UP 'PHILANTHROPY' OR 'GOOD WILL'. INCLUDING THOSE WHO WORK IN THE ENERGY, FINANCE, AND PHARMACEUTICAL INDUSTRIES. ITS A SHAM. NOTHING BUT TAX DEDUCTIBLE PR CRAP. THE RICH DO NOT WANT TO MAKE THE WORLD A BETTER PLACE. THEY WANT TO APPEAR AS IF THEY DO. OTHERWISE, THEY WOULDN'T CONCENTRATE THE WORLD'S WEALTH AND RESOURCES TO BEGIN WITH. THIS TV SHOW IS JUST ANOTHER CALCULATED TRICK TO SHOW THEM IN A MORE POSITIVE LIGHT. DON'T FALL FOR IT. THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS A MULTI-MILLIONAIRE HUMANITARIAN. EXTREME WEALTH MAKES WORLD PROSPERITY ABSOLUTELY IMPOSSIBLE. WITHOUT WORLD PROSPERITY, THERE WILL NEVER BE WORLD PEACE OR ANYTHING EVEN CLOSE. GREED KILLS. IT WILL BE OUR DOWNFALL.

This is part of a much larger and vital issue. Search the following line: "The campaign to divert our attention has taken a new turn."