Monday, October 6, 2014

From Here to Eternity

Siubhan Harrison and Robert Lonsdale n the ‘ultra-male,
very well-drilled’ From Here to Eternity.
RebPhotograph: Tristram Kenton
Rebecca and I got on the phone after we had seen the show -- she in Victoria and me in Calgary.

Not many people in my theatre:  three.

I talked to both of the others during the 10 minute intermission.  The younger woman said that this was her first musical; she usually comes to the Dance in HD Live series.  The other woman was older.  She had read the book and loved the movie.  So she said she was having some trouble getting Deborah Kerr out of her mind and the new woman playing Karin into her mind's view.

All three of us were loving the show.  I told themthat all five of the critics I had read,  had taken a slice off of the musical. The women hadn't seen the reviews.

All of the reviewers seemed to damn by faint praise.  "Technically perfect, but no heart."  "The themes were no longer interesting," they said.  "Some audience members had walked out during the partial nude scene," another critic said.

What bothered me was the return to the 1940's.  But having been there, I could see it was my own discomfort of having to watch again the nearly perfect re-enactment of how those times were.

Why didn't people take to the show?

1. Perhaps because it is a man's show really, but the title makes it seem like a chick flick?  It had the feel of South Pacific in a way, and that show was a hit ... but maybe in a different time.

2. Is there too much dialogue for those of us who just want the singing and dancing to never stop.

3. There was pain in the scenes dealing with Private Angelo Maggio's place in the army and his place among his friends.  "I Love the Army" was a difficult song.  Today I was thinking about the show Cabaret, and how it dealt with essential the same troubling issues.

I am going back Thursday.  Here are a couple of reviews.  At least they will give you a taste of what you will see.

Michael Billington in The Guardian

David Benedict in Variety (US)

The Shaftsbury

Arta

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