Friday, March 5, 2004

Theatre Geek Report -- the evening show (3 of 3)

I think what I liked best about "His Dark Materials" (as a play) is that it exists.  With the rather large (but also rather recent) exception of Disney Theatricals, nobody in the United States takes children's theatre really SERIOUSLY.  That is to say, you don't get big theatrical productions aimed a youth audience.  As a big time theatre geek, I am frustrated by this -- how are we ever going to instill in our youth a lifetime love of the stage when their only chance to be exposed to it is some local company doing "The Phantom Tollbooth"?

What I love about "His Dark Materials" is that it is GOOD theatre -- top drawer theatre -- with no expense spared on props, sets, costumes ... and a top of the line cast.  I mean, they've got great classically trained Shakespearean types in here, extremely talented dancers in more movement-based roles (I noted, with irony, that one of the cast members used to dance in Matthew Bourne's ballets), and they even got Timothy Dalton in the role of the ... shoot, I don't even know how to describe the role, excepting its the sort of thing you need that kind of actor for.  Like, remember when they made the third Indiana Jones movie, and they got Sean Connery to play Indy's dad?  (Of course you do.)  It's that sort of role, and Dalton is just ideal for it.

This isn't the first time the National has gone all out for a children's theatre piece.  (On the contrary, they have quite a good track record with it.)  It's the first time I've managed to see one there, though, and I am just floored by the quality of what they put out -- and I really wish we'd do more of this in America.

1 comment:

andreakingme said...

You make it sound wonderfully appealing, NZ. (You don't seem like a gasper! Heh.)