Reaction to “The Bald Soprano”

 

I attended the Sunday matinee for “The Bald Soprano”. I was actually surprised at how much I found myself enjoying it. One thing that kind of stood out to me was the setting. It for the most part, it looked somewhat like a kind of fancy house, what with a leather sofa and a large clock, and portraits of our characters. But the wall stood out to me. It was blue, and didn’t seem to match the rest of our setting at all. Now, it could easily just be a stretch, but I thought it added a little something to the absurdity of the play. Since nothing else in the play really seems to connect, maybe the wall doesn’t connect with the rest of the background.

I particularly enjoyed Mr. and Mrs. Martin’s monotone dialogue in their first interaction. I hadn’t actually pictured them speaking like that to each other, but it added something comical to their words. Overall, the dialogue was still difficult to follow. I realize that the point is to not make any sense, but actually hearing it just made me understand that I was never going to understand what they were talking about.

In relation to dialogue, I thought the switch from British culture to American culture was interesting. I can’t remember a lot of specifics, but some of the things (like the food choices) might have actually been the same. And they still said “bloody” a few times, definitely a British term. So whether that was either an oversight or deliberately to add to confusion, I’m not entirely sure. I know that they were at least in the suburbs, and quite proud of drinking American water.

Another thing that I thought was made even more absurd was actually hearing the clock chime 20+ times. Several times. It’s one thing to read that it chimes a lot, but hearing it is both funny and unsettling. To add to how wacky the clock’s features were, it ended up shifting and slamming and opening up. I might have just missed it while reading, but I’m not sure I remembered that from the original play.

Speaking of unsettling, the Fire Chief and Maid were a little too convincing. Groping and ear biting, they really sold it. I had underestimated how weird this play was going to be, but they went there. Then again, the point of the play is absurdity, so it actually fits quite well. How many regular plays have such explicit displays of expression on stage?

While I thought the ending was funny, part of it seemed borderline scary. The actors were screaming and moving around all over the place, the lighting was changing, everything was in full discord. It was like watching a horror movie with people frantically scrambling around and screeching. Perhaps even af foreign horror movie, since I had no idea what they were talking about.

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