April 20, 2006

Take that, Julia!

Posted in Criticism, Theater at 11:15 am by antonello

Ben Brantley is one tough mofo to please, but damn can that man boil down his thesis to a couple of punchy sentences.  

In Richard Greenberg's "Three Days of Rain," the existential enigmas and conundrums of faith that always pepper this playwright's work assume a tantalizingly dichotomous form that. … Excuse me, I was talking. What? How is she? How's who? Oh, her. O.K., if you must know, she's stiff with self-consciousness (especially in the first act), only glancingly acquainted with the two characters she plays and so deeply, disturbingly beautiful that you don't want to let her out of your sight. Now can we go back to discussing Mr. Greenberg's play?

Brantley often calls attention to his subjectivity which is a fascinating device for a critic.  Usually a critic hides beneath big 'O' Objectivity.  Brantley uses his bias, acknowledges his preconceptions and then uses this to bolster his objective observations. I don't always agree with him, but I always enjoy reading it.