Sunday, February 25, 2007

Orson's Shadow, Ken Tynan

Just saw Austin Pendelton's ORSON'S SHADOW at the New Rep here in Boston -- Tynan's a character, and the narrator. I loved it! Mainly, I suppose because as an old theatre nut I'd read everything I could get my hands on about at least 3 of the 5 characters: they were round and rich to me before I came to their embodiments. Tynan was least interesting-- as is appropriate for a writer among stars of stage & screen, but pale compared to some of the anecdotes I'd read, and pale compared to the impression his prose made on me when we were both young. As Jeff Sweet says, Tynan "caught performance in print with a vividness and specificity few have matched." His descriptions of rehearsals and performances are more alive in my mind's eye than many I have sat through. I'm not sure what the effect of ORSON'S SHADOW would be on a general audience, or a young one. Certainly the New Rep audience was enthusiastic about the production

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