Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Monday Night Title Bout (May 17)

Every week, I compose listings about the week's shows for Metromix NY. I'm usually disappointed by what playwrights choose to call their work, so I'm reviewing their titles now. Not the shows (I haven't seen them yet) just the titles. To read about the content of each show, click through the link to my listings on Metromix NY.

A lovely title but an odd one. If you try to take the image literally (a doorbell at twilight?), it slips away into metaphor (death at the door?). It's even better when you consider the idiom “rings a bell”, in the sense of a vague memory.

Another good title! It specifies a dramatic event, yet that “precious” makes the “moment” so fleeting. Jack, although a common nickname, here has a fairy tale quality that gives the work an archetypal resonance.

This title means to peg the story's location (or maybe destination) but it doesn't do much work. The islands' newness does add interest but also confusion: are they “new” islands or the New Islands? The former is exciting, the latter generic. Also, I suspect it's redundant to use both “islands” and “archipelago”. I'd pick “archipelago” since it's more precise yet more unconventional.

Well, we know the theme of the show! This one doesn't offer much ambiguity, but maybe the execution will show it to have some depth...

Not a bad try, if a little portentous. “Year Zero” suggests an inciting event of historical proportions. But a glance at Wikipedia confirms that it's dreadfully common: three albums, five songs, and two books, plus a few movies about Cambodia―where the phrase refers to revolutionary policies of the Khmer Rouge.

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