Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Theater: Title Bout (June 14)

Every week, I compose listings on the week's shows for Metromix NY. I'm so disappointed by the titles that playwrights choose for 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 its link to my listings on Metromix NY.

Not a bad title, in that it proclaims the arena of conflict. It also solidly (even rigidly) defines the setting/style as bourgeois realism. So a ticket-buyer knows what she's getting, which is more than most titles offer!

A deceptively complex title: there's not as many shades of meaning to “ideal” as you'd think. Instead, it sets the audience up for a play about ideals, morals, ethics… which, really, is every play. The playwright's Ayn Rand, so the absence of subtext and irony shouldn't surprise you.

It's possible to read a lot into this one: you figure James Joyce would've loved how it undercuts Catholicism through a play-on-words. Or maybe it's a Bugs Bunny cartoon set in a convent. Actually, it's a franchise show about wacky nuns―squandering a title with potential.

The word “levee” implies Mississippi floods and Delta blues. And in summer 2010, BP's oil disaster orbits the word's association with the Gulf Coast and Hurricane Katrina. It's a word weighted with the potential for communal tragedy, a Chekhov's Gun of a word.

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