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Official LJ Appreciation for The Pillowman

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(no subject) [Apr. 29th, 2006|08:30 pm]
Official LJ Appreciation for The Pillowman

[mood |bouncydramatic]
[music |Someone to Fall Back On, Jason Robert Brown]

So, it doesn't seem like anyone has posted here in a long time. And the show has closed. And I'm American. But still, I'm posting.

I think it's unspeakably awesome that there is a Pillowman LJ community. I read the Pillowman last summer and fell utterly in love. It started me on a play-reading phase that has continued to the present. I saw the show in New York in the fall, and was absolutely swept away.

I understand that NY theater is mortifyingly commercial, and I dread what NY producers will do to Billy Elliot, the only show I've ever seen in the West End, when it comes over. However, acknowledging the flaws of my area of the world and the fact that I did not see the British production, I'd like to put in my word for the U.S. actors.

I thought Billy Crudup was absolutely brilliant. He was really the way I pictured Katurian while reading the play, and his performance astounded me. Goldblum, I'll admit, seemed slightly... like Goldblum, if you know what I mean. Like, he came out and there was that aura of the actor, the personality, accompanying that of the character. However, in the end he did please me as Tupolski. I felt a strong attachment to Ariel when I read the play, and Zeljko Ivanek didn't quite embody him the way I had pictured. Still, his portrayal made me see the character in a different way, and I enjoyed viewing him from a different perspective. Michael Stuhlberg was a tad bit shrill for my taste, but his acting was top notch. Overall, I think the NY production was stunning. I only wish I had been able to view the London.

I love so many things about the play. The wonderful parallels of the different characters, and their different ideas about the world and their role in it. The way Katurian's stories were played out on the stage. Just the perfect way it all fit together was marvelous. And the dialogue! It was touching and terrifying at the appropriate times, but also so funny! "Black comedy," indeed. The ending made me cry- the whole add-on to the story.

Martin McDonagh is only in his thirties. He wrote all his plays within a year when he was in his twenties, and hasn't written since. He stated that he wanted more life experience, needed more before the "voices" came back to him. I can only hope they return soon.

"Your name is Katurian Katurian Katurian?"
"Like I said, my parents were funny people."
"Mm. For 'funny' I guess read 'stupid fucking idiots.'"
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my love for the pillowman [Mar. 14th, 2005|09:45 pm]
Official LJ Appreciation for The Pillowman
Thank you very much for the invite to join this group. "The Pillowman" deserves a wider audience.

I saw "The Pillowman" at the National Theatre in March 2004. I was in the second row, ten feet away from the brilliant Jim Broadbent. The only thing I knew about the play was the creepy description on the National's brochure. After the play was over I realized that it was the best show I had seen in my life. "The Pillowman" disturbed me, terrified me, and made me laugh. It's amazing. The cast was superb and I felt privileged to have seen it. I told everyone I could about it and reread all of Martin McDonagh's previous work (I had only read "The Beauty Queen of Leenane" beforehand). I couldn't get it out of my head for weeks. The play is so complex and has so many themes, which I'd love to discuss in this group if people are interested.

In November my theatre did a reading of the play that was fairly well attended. I played Katurian, a part that I'd love to play in professional theatre someday.

I'm very excited about the Broadway premiere, and have tickets to see it April 16th. Jeff Goldblum is so different from Jim Broadbent, so it should be interesting to compare the two. Billy Crudup looks the part of Katurian, and I think he'll play it well. The other two actors have very good resumes so I'm sure they'll do nicely. The show is being directed and designed by the team from the National, so I'm expecting it to be very very good. Different because of the cast, but incredible.

I realize that I'm gushing, but I do really think that "The Pillowman" is one of the most brilliant plays that I've ever come across. For more info on the Broadway run go to www.pillowmanonbroadway.com
Not too much information yet, but a little.
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(no subject) [Mar. 12th, 2005|11:00 am]
Official LJ Appreciation for The Pillowman

Thank you, Elise, for the invitation to join this community. I suspect I’ll mostly be an observer. I rarely find the time to post or comment in LJ, though I do try to keep up with the reading of it.

Like you, I was captivated and haunted by The Pillowman. Unlike you, however, the production I attended had David Tennant as Katurian, Jim Broadbent as Tupolski, Nigel Lindsay as Ariel, and Adam Godley as Michal. Apparently Victoria Pembroke and Mike Sherman were in the productions each of us saw, though.

It is so very difficult for me to imagine anyone but the actors I experienced taking on these roles—just as you probably find it difficult to imagine any but those you saw. (And how very interesting that you met them afterwards. You really should tell more about that.)

But while on the subject of casting, I must say I am somewhat dubious of the choices made for the New York production of the play. Well, one choice, perhaps; I am not so familiar with the other actors. Jeff Goldblum as Tupolski?! If it was absolutely necessary to even cast him in this play, I would likely have at least considered him for Katurian, not Tupolski. (Although, I must admit, perhaps he is a bit too old for Katurian.)

Still, as I said when I discovered the choices made in the casting of the New York production of Michael Frayn’s Democracy (choices which utterly horrified me), I could very well be proven wrong and the chosen actor/actors actually turn in a fine performance/performances. (Alas, in the case of Democracy, judging by the reviews, I was absolutely correct regarding the miscasting of it. And if truth be told, I certainly have more faith in Goldblum as Tupolski than I ever had in Richard Thomas as Günter Guillaume or James Naughton—who looked much more like a used car salesman than the charismatic and conflicted chancellor—as Willy Brandt.)

Anyway, once again, thank you for the invitation. I am looking forward to reading what others have to say about the play—the poetry and prose of it, the production and performance of it, the characters and characterizations, the stories within the story, the darkness and light.

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(no subject) [Mar. 11th, 2005|09:14 pm]
Official LJ Appreciation for The Pillowman
Welcome to the_pillowman. I hope you enjoy your stay. Please follow the rules outlined the Community Information.

I shall abstain from making a long and emotional post about how magnificent I thought The Pillowman was and what an emotional and haunting impact it had on me, and how utterly snazzy it was that I got the opportunity to meet the actors afterwards, because it seems to me that Moderators very rarely make such posts; they are always sort of omnipotent beings that are ever watching but never speaking. However, I do think the fact that I created this LJ Community for the sole purpose of squeeing about the play exhibits my love for it to a certain degree.

To start us off...Collapse )
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