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Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Report Card---"The Other Place"

The one single reason I went to see "The Other Place"----Laurie Metcalf.
Just about the best actress we have.
And one of the funniest.
But "The Other Place" is pure drama.
And pretty effective.
Put simply, it is about a woman who is losing her mind.
It's not without its problems.
Like "The Anarchist, it's very short.
Eighty minutes.
You do feel a little gypped with these short plays.
In olden days, when you had a short play, there were these things called "Curtain
Raisers".
One-act plays, sometimes by another author, performed before the main event, a prelim, primarily to make the audience feel like it got its moneys worth.
No Broadway producer seems to care about that anymore.

On to the scoring:

Is it interesting?

Yes, but not without its confusing elements.
It starts out slowly, as you're trying to figure things out.
And there are flashbacks and flash-forwards.
And it's tough to keep up,
B.

Compelling even?

Occasionally.
B+.

Is it controversial?

Not really.
B-.

Is it a story worth telling?

I think so.
B+.

Is it good storytelling?

It would be, if there wasn't all this confusion.

Is it well written?

The dialogue is very good
A.

Is it well cast? Well played?, Well staged?

It does that thing I hate.
There are actresses in it who look a lot like each other.
It makes you keep asking "Is that her, or the other one?
It turns out, if you had looked at the program beforehand, you'd know it was always the same actress. An argument can be made that this added to the representation of Metcalfe's breakdown. But it can also lead to an audience breakdown.
B-.

Was it too long? Too short?

Eighty friggin' minutes.
D.

Is it believable? Do you care about the characters?

Yes, and yes.
A-.

Is it predictable? Does it surprise you?

I never knew what the hell was going to happen.
A.

Do you think about it after you've seen it?

Only in trying to determine if that was her or the other one.
C-.

Is it funny?

No. It might have helped.
C-.

Was it worth the eighty bucks it cost?

Not really.
D.

Is the play impressive ?

In it's way.
B+.

Overall grade: C+.

I should re-emphasize that Laurie Metcalfe is still great.

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My books ,"Show Runner" and it's sequel,"Show Runner Two", can be found at the Amazon Kindle Store.
Along with the newer ones, "The Man Is Dead", and "Report Cards".
You can search by typing in my name, Cindy Williams, Laverne & Shirley, The Odd Couple, or Happy Days.
Check them out.
You don't need a Kindle machine to download them.
Just get the free app from Kindle, and they can be downloaded to an IPhone, IPad, or Blackberry.
The paperback, "Mark Rothman's Essays" is still available for people without Kindle.
I have many readings and signings remaining, and the thing about Kindle is you can't sign one.
If you'd like one, contact me at macchus999@aol.com.
And now, we've got my reading of my "Laverne & Shirley Movie" screenplay on YouTube.

******

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About Me

Hi. I am, according to my Wikipedia entry,(which I did not create) a noted television writer, playwright, screenwriter, and occasional actor. You can Google me or go to the IMDB to get my credits, and you can come here to get my opinions on things, which I'll try to express eloquently. Hopefully I'll succeed. You can also e-mail me at macchus999@aol.com. Perhaps my biggest claim to fame is being responsible, for about six months in 1975, while Head Writer for the "Happy Days" TV series, for Americans saying to each other "Sit on it."