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Comment Archives: stories: Stage: Last 30 Days

Re: “Our Town at Pitt Stages

It seems to me that the author is not very familiar with Thornton Wilder, his life, his intentions, and his body of work. It's a correct read to say that Wilder used the specific to address the universal (which I'd argue this production has done to great effect). Wilder was also a blazing social critic, a polyglot, and a very modern thinker who frequently employed multicultural characters and multiple languages in his plays to glean the universal from the specific, most notably in The Skin of Our Teeth. He also vehemently rejected the theatrical realism--a viewpoint deeply against the grain for his time--that Hoover seems so convinced is mistakenly missing from this production. It never surprises me to hear people who read Our Town once in high school to ascribe Wilder's work and intentions to a 19th-century postcard of white pastoral America, but it does surprise me to hear this interpretation from a theater critic. Wilder was always one of the most forward-thinking of American writers who very much intended a socially relevant bent to his work -- so much so that the best of his work was greatly misunderstood and/or underperformed during his lifetime. It does a great disservice to his vision to consign his work to static history now that he's gone.

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by Annie D. on 10/16/2017 at 2:47 PM

Re: “Our Town at Pitt Stages

I usually agree with Ted Hoover and have found him a good guide, except that he hates Shakespeare and Rodgers and Hammerstein. But this review is an exception. The actors did a lovely job considering that they are all young and dewy; the blocking was excellent and smoothly executed; and I thought the set was brilliant--flat and minimal until the last act, when it opened up and was detailed and rich--like Emily's view of the living, really seeing the world.

Posted by Arlene Weiner on 10/16/2017 at 11:27 AM

Re: “Our Town at Pitt Stages

I would have to question the reviewers understanding of Our Town and Wilders purpose in writing the play. Wilder wanted to portray universal and eternal themes. For a theme to truly be universal and eternal it cannot be constrained by time and place. But that is exactly what the reviewer is advocating for. What was it that the reviewer was really objecting to? That the Gibbs were a mixed race couple? That George Gibbs was portrayed as a white boy and Emily Webb as a black girl? Or was it that Emily Webb had two Moms? None of that is essential to the themes that Our Town presents. The whole idea is that the play Our Town is actually your Town or anyones Town. That is what makes it a timeless classic that could be performed by Tibetans dressed as hula girls in a town in Wyoming yet would still ring true!

3 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Bruce Fisher on 10/13/2017 at 10:09 PM

Re: “Our Town at Pitt Stages

I didn't come here for an opinion piece on the nature of theatre as an at form. Thanks for devoting a whopping 1 sentence to review of the performance.

2 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by PGH and Proud on 10/13/2017 at 6:12 PM

Re: “Our Town at Pitt Stages

Wow, this is a university production, and a showcase for upcoming local talent. What an unfair and small-minded review. I found the performances to be poignant and moving.

5 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Michele Gaudiello Lombardi on 10/13/2017 at 10:46 AM

Re: “Our Town at Pitt Stages

City Paper needs to hold Ted Hoover accountable for this morally reprehensible and completely unprofessional review. This isn't the first time. He is misogynistic and racist. This is why it's important to have reviewers of color.

13 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Sol Crespo on 10/12/2017 at 9:30 PM

Re: “Our Town at Pitt Stages

It is my understanding that Spanish was spoken in the 1800s. Why is that a problem for you? Direct translation of a play which has been translated into many languages seems Like it would only be a problem for someone who doesnt like brown people. Why do you have a problem with brown people?

8 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Jillmarie Peterson on 10/12/2017 at 4:39 PM

Re: “East Texas Hot Links at Pittsburgh Playwrights Theatre Co.

The critic might want to check production history of the play, EAST TEXAS HOT LINKS was 1st mounted & premiered at the Met Theater, in Los Angeles, in 1991.

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by Ed De Shae on 10/04/2017 at 10:17 AM

Re: “The Battle of Homestead Foundation’s The Homestead Strike of 1892

I wish I had heard about this before it sold out. I used to work at the mill in Homestead.

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by Susan Kincaid on 09/22/2017 at 2:38 PM

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