Thoughts on the Bald Soprano

I wasn’t sure what to expect with this production of the Bald Soprano as it is a show that allows for a variety of interpretations. When I went to the theater, I was completely unsure of what direction this show would go in. I absolutely adore the script and really enjoy just how absurd of a show it is and the ways in which in points out the absurdity of the mundane. However, it’s a show that can be produced in so many different ways. The entire thing could have been done in the deadpan fashion that the Martins portrayed upon their introduction, or it could have been played up for laughs and the comedic aspects of the show could have been really accentuated. There isn’t really a wrong a way to direct this show because it’s an absurdist play. No matter how it is portrayed and what decisions the actors or directors make, the show will always be absurd.

I was excited to see what way that UMF would take this show and overall found myself greatly enjoying the interpretation and production. I found the play comedic as I read it, but didn’t necessarily walk away from the reading viewing it as a comedic show overall. However, the show was directed in quite a humorous way. I think I found the show to have its funniest moment when the Martins and Smiths are gossiping about the man bending over to tie his shoe. Now, when I was reading the play, this moment didn’t really grasp my attention. It didn’t stand out to me and I didn’t really take the time to look more in depth at that moment. In the show, this moment stood out much more to me and the absurdity of gossip became glaringly clear. These were grown people giggling and gushing over a moment that had nothing to do with them and had no impact upon them. This moment felt so clear to me in the play and I thought it was well directed and acted. It truly highlighted the ways in which gossip is part of everyday life and seen as natural, and is so incredibly absurd as well.

I think the choice to switch over from an overexaggerated English setting to the more familiar American setting was a choice that worked well. It freed up the actors from having to use accents and put the show into a setting that was more familiar for audience members. Moments where terms like “bloody” were used, did admittedly make me question the setting briefly. Overall though, I think the setting change worked incredibly well. I think that the more familiar setting allowed for the show to become even more unfamiliar and confusing for the audience. Usually when an audience leaves a theater there is some sort of moral to be left with or a rather clear type of feeling. That isn’t the case at all with the Bald Soprano. This show doesn’t leave audience members feeling one specific and defined way. Some people left that show loving it and feeling thoroughly amused. Others left the theater and felt frustrated by the lack of clearness throughout the show. That’s part of the point of this show and that’s something that I personally really enjoy.

I was glad for the oppurtunity to see the show on stage. There were certainly aspects that I had trouble visualizing when I was reading the script and it was nice to see the show come to life. I feel like getting the chance to read the script and see the show at the same time was highly beneficial. It gave me a higher level of understanding about the show and also made it so that I was more invested within the play. I think having both read and seen the play allowed for me to make more connections than I otherwise would have. Instead of just brushing it all off as absurdity, I was able to recognize that this show acts as a commentary on the absurdity of everyday life.



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