; Fun! Fun! Vancouver!: Clybourne Park at the Stanley Theatre

Saturday, 15 September 2012

Clybourne Park at the Stanley Theatre

Last night I went to see Clybourne Park at the Stanley Theatre.

Maybe it's because I had high expectations? A friend of mine who had seen this in Toronto had said, "It's sooooooo good! You HAVE to see it!" and thus, the play was hyped. Not to mention the fact that it's also won the Tony Award and the Pulitzer. It HAD to be amazing, yes?

Meh. I was completely underwhelmed. The production itself is fine, and the cast were wonderful. But the story just didn't scream out Pulitzer to me. Not to my companion. We were both befuddled and left scratching our heads. This won the Tony and the Pulitzer? Really? This?

A brief summary of the plot: Act One features a white family in the 50s who have sold their house to a black family, and the community is outraged. Act Two skips to the present day and things are reversed, with a white family moving into a black neighbourhood. So race is still an issue in this day and age, yeah I got that. For me, it wasn't groundbreaking. Maybe it's because I am a person of colour and this play is just stating the obvious. Meh.

The start of each act I found to be slow and boring. There was a lot of yelling, but is somewhat balanced out by the forced attempts at humour. Things do pick up as each Act closes, and I definitely enjoyed Act Two more.

And check out Colin Thomas' (much more articulate) review from the Georgia Straight, who also wasn't too keen on this play.

I try to stay positive on this blog, so the bright side of this is that I do applaud the Arts Club for bringing shows like this to Vancouver audiences. If I missed something on Broadway, it's great to be able to see it reincarnated on a Vancouver stage for us. And the cast were terrific:

Clybourne Park runs to October 7 at the Stanley Theatre.

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