Friday June 11, 2010 / 8:00pm (Preview)Trumpery
Assigned at Box Office
How was your experience?
I felt the verbose script made for a sluggish play, during which one could hardly wait for the agony to end. The stunning discoveries made by Darwin, as well as the staggering resistance he anticipated to his revelation of them, never came to life in this draggy, uninspiring two-plus-hours production. And, unfortunately, just as one thought it had mercifully ended, another scene, and yet another, were tacked on. Attention should have been paid to the adage, "Always leave them wanting more." As for the acting, it ranged from merely competent to over-the-top, although, admittedly, the characters were not well-conceived and integrated to begin with. "Real" characters still need to be dealt with in terms that are dramatic and engaging to the audience. Darwin was portrayed as a simpering, whimpering wuss, crawling and vomiting over the stage like an iguana cowering from a dinosaur, and this detracted from our seeing him with the breadth a man so conflicted between brilliant head and loving heart deserves. What can I say, a lousy play, and a stilted production. My husband is an authority on Darwin, and he was as disappointed as I. Olney may deem itself a professional theatre, but a sensitive and crisply-performed University of Maryland production seen just a few hours later confirm that "professional" refers as well to the creativity of the actors, not just to their compensation.