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Anna Dec 8th, 2002 10:55 AM

I've always loved "Our Town". It is my favorite play, and it always manages to make me shed tears. I think that people who don't care for this play are those that probably didn't think much of the film, "Field of Dreams", which caused my sons to weep.

Ellen Dec 8th, 2002 02:33 PM

I guess it is all a matter of opinion. Sarah-I got your 'message' about the 'judgement' of anyone who doesn't feel about the play the way you do. But, contrary to your belief, some of us who don't share your opinion of Our Twon, do enjoy theater. Dramatic performances I HAVE enjoyed recently would be Far Away, Frankie & Johnny, Imaginary Friends, Medea, A Man of No Importance, Book of Days, Boston Marriage, Burn This, and The Exonerated. I would recommend any one of these over Our Town any day of the week. And, I have also seen many overzealous audiences standing, cheering & bravo!ing away at performances so bad they have been shut down in 2 weeks. So, to each his own opinion and judgement.

Sarah Dec 8th, 2002 06:57 PM

Gee Ellen I did not mean to offend. It would be difficult for me to highly recommend a musical so that is where this thinking was coming from. I know I have come on the forum before and told people to head to Lincoln Center and skip Broadway Musicals entirely.<BR><BR>Thanks for the heads up on Imaginary Friends. I was looking at that as a gift for a friend.

Sara Dec 8th, 2002 07:20 PM

It is all such a personal thing. Although I have utmost respect for some deeper dramas I've seen which have a lot of depth....I actually prefer light musicals or comedies. I try to go to the theater as often as affordable and my favorite is to be entertained. I guess I have enough of my own stresses going on (recently divorced and have a 9 yr. old with Down Syndrom) so I most enjoy the &quot;escape&quot; and real entertainment. I have seen such shows as The Producers, Hairspray, Man of La Mancha,Thoroughly Modern Millie, and Oklahoma. (have tickets for Movin' Out as well).These may all be considered &quot;light&quot; (except perhaps Man of La Mancha). I really enjoyed this type although like I said, I DO APPRECIATE the depth of shows such as Our Town as well. It is a very personal thing!! Some people are opposite of me and really don't care for musicals etc. GIVE THOSE TICKETS TO ME!

John Dec 9th, 2002 04:09 AM

I am not sure Sara that art is all about what individuals like. You have quality literature and you have mass produced literature like &quot;Daniel Steele&quot;. It is the same with theatre, Broadway has become an industry focused on consumers and less of an arena for theatrical art. Something is lost with this. Difficult to see emotion when someone breaks into song and dance every few minutes.<BR><BR>I have to agree why are there are so few plays of substance on Broadway? I like walking away thinking about maybe considering a new angle on human condition not how did they wear such big hats. How long did they have to stretch to make that kick. Not sure this is all about what individuals like. I think there is a line between Art and commercial entertainment.

sandra Dec 9th, 2002 05:20 AM

I saw It when it was in Westport Playhouse where his wife is Creative Director. It was a lousy production, along the lines of a high school play, only it starred Paul Newman. The Review in the paper yesterday basically stated that. People will go as it is completely sold out till the end of the run on 1/26/03

Ellen Dec 9th, 2002 06:00 AM

I agree that Broadway can fall way short as far as dramatic performances. For about a year all you could see was Proof or the Allergist's Wife. That is why I tend to go to more off and off-off productions. But as this is a travel board that attracts mostly tourists coming into NYC for just a few days, the focus here is always on the 5 lavish commercial productions of the moment. Hardly anyone inquiring about NYC has an interest in Lincoln Center or off Broadway theater--just pull up the old threads and try to find even one. Some of our favorite subscriptions are The Drama Department, Public Theater, Second Stage, Manhattan Theater Club, Classic Stage Company, the Pearl Theater, and Roundabout. Many of these shows rival those on Broadway. In fact, Cynthia Nixon was a part of the regular company at Classic Stage before she hit the big time.

Sarah Dec 9th, 2002 06:06 AM

Ellen thanks good to have those nameson hand. I have heard about the round about but just gave up on Drama in NYC years ago.<BR><BR>Spent a year in London and was forever ruined in my expectations of Theatre. If I have not seen anything great in a while in NYC I will schedule a brief trip. Never thinking I could find an equivalent here.

Ellen Dec 9th, 2002 06:07 AM

I also forgot to add that you can see a fantastic off-Broadway show for 1/2 the price of a Broadway ticket, without standing in line for 2 hrs. And since the theaters are smaller, you can almost always get a great seat. Some stars off broadway at the moment? Kate Burton, Martha Plimpton, Frances McDormand, Al Pacino (Salome in Brooklyn), Danny Aiello, Sigourney Weaver, Liev Schreiber, Chris Noth, Elisabeth Shue, Sandy Duncan, and Amy Irving. Anyone with off-broadway questions, I would be most happy to help.

Sarah Dec 9th, 2002 06:11 AM

What was the story line with Imaginary Friends?

Howard Dec 9th, 2002 06:29 AM

Getting back to the original subject of this thread, we saw Our Town yesterday and thoroughly enjoyed. No, Our Town is probably not for everyone's taste, but it should on the must-see list for most serious theatergoers. (Ellen, I'm sorry you didn't get tickets for it. To see Paul Newman playing, well, Paul Newman, was a joy!)<BR>While Patrick makes some valid points about star vehicles, I'll have to disagree somewhat. The incentive for us to get tickets to see Our Town was the rare (and probably only) opportunity to see our of our nation's great actors on stage. Mr. Newman did not disappoint. It is an experience we will treasure. The fact that we found the entire production a most pleasable experience was a definite added plus.<BR>I might add that our motivation to see Dance of Death starring Ian McKellan and Helen Mirren last year was similar.<BR>Neither play is for everyone. But they were &quot;for us&quot;!

Ellen Dec 9th, 2002 07:08 AM

Howard, I did see it with Paul Newman. I saw it in Westbury CT at his wife's theater. Loved him, despite the walk on/recite/walk off narrator role, but really disliked the production itself. I also can't stand that venue in CT, but that is a whole other story. <BR><BR>Sarah-Immaginary Friends is starring one of my favorites, Cherry Jones (The Heiress, Pride's Crossing, etc.) and Swoosie Kurtz. It is Nora Ephron's play about Lillian Helmman &amp; Mary McCarthy. They were professional writers with differences.

Sarah Dec 9th, 2002 07:46 AM

AH HAA!!!! Ellen not far from what I thought!!! You had a bias against this production from the get go!!!! <BR><BR>just kidding thanks for Imaginary Friends info

ellen Dec 9th, 2002 08:03 AM

Sarah - actually, I went into it with optimism, thinking that Paul could improve on a drama that I previously did not enjoy (and had seen twice already). Alas, it was not to be.<BR><BR>It was actually my first time at the Newman's Theater, and my last. It was 100 degrees outside, and their barn of a theater has NO air conditioning or fans. It was a steambath inside. Not to mention that the seats are hard-as-rocks church pews that creak and groan every time someone shifts into yet another uncomfortable position. The rows are all on the same level and it is really hard to see over the head in front of you. The balcony is suicide.<BR><BR>

Patrick Dec 9th, 2002 09:13 AM

Howard, I have great respect for your theatre-going and theatre knowledge, but I don't get how what you're saying is in disagreement with what I said. In fact, I think you empasized exactly what I was saying. It is the fact that stars appear in shows that often gets people to go the theatre. As you have said, that is precisely what got you to go to those two productions. And while you're there you were rewarded with otherwise good theatre experiences as well. I agree. If it weren't for the fact that Paul Newman is in Our Town, I doubt they would have sold many tickets. It is his appearance that makes people go, and then possibly enjoy the entire theatrical experience as well.

Donnica Dec 9th, 2002 10:16 AM

I've been reading this entry with great interest. I had the good fortune of travelling in southern New Hampshire a few years ago and happened upon a production of Our Town in Peterborough, which is supposedly the model for Grovers Corners, at the Peterborough Players, an equity company that performs in what used to be a barn. In addition, Peterboruogh is the is the home of the McDowell Colony where the play was written. (Fletcher Dole's home is just down the street.) Legend has it that Wilder tried it out on thte Players stage first. Anyway, it was the most stunning performance of the play that I had seen (I've seen it twice, not counting high school), and James Whitmore was the stage manager (he is a friend of the late founder and her daughter). It's an evening that I will never forget.

Howard Dec 9th, 2002 10:24 AM

I agree, Donnica. This is an interesting thread, and your contribution is helping to make it more interesting!<BR>Sorry, Patrick, for misreading your comments. I'll return the compliment and say that I, too, appreciate your theatrical savvy...and good taste!

David Dec 14th, 2002 05:38 PM

Topping for Cathy ([email protected])<BR>

Woody Feb 17th, 2003 06:12 PM

&quot;Our Town&quot; has closed. But according to the L.A. Times, Paul Newman and &quot;Our Town&quot; are coming to TV.<BR><BR>Showtime and PBS' &quot;Masterpiece Theatre&quot; are teaming up to tape a TV version of the production. It will debut on Showtime later this year, and then will be shown on &quot;Masterpiece Theatre's American Collection.&quot;

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