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Play Review: “8”

4 Mar

Travesty, depravity, cinematic-diarrhea; many adjectives can be chosen to describe, “8: A Play about the Fight for Marriage Equality.” Despite their vast grab bag of A-list celebrities, the acting was sub-standard even for a middle school play and the production was as dry as an 87 year old woman’s elbow.

“The American Foundation for Equal Rights,” hosted a live production of the piece today on their Youtube channel. The cast of the play, written by Dustin Lance Black included but was not limited to the likes of, Brad Pitt, George Clooney, John C. Reilly, Martin Sheen, Jamie Lee Curtis and George Takei.

The play was about, “Prop 8,” and allegedly contained a complete and accurate reenactment of the trial itself. The play was a little dull, arduous and it flatlined heavily throughout, despite the big name actors starring in the production. The fact that it was on, “Youtube,” and not in person, did not detract at all.

Actors shamelessly read lines from the script without addressing each other or the camera, a fact that would be forgivable if the acting was not as feeble as Ghandi on heroin.

It was, by appearance, a cold reading. The actors fumbled with the lines, their fame doing nothing to fix their weak and broken statements and apparent illiterate natures. Kevin Bacon, one of the lead roles, even proved a disappointment repeatedly misreading words, stuttering and making all the errors that the other actors did.

Jamie Lee Curtis purveyed the emotions that she intended to, her reading of the script was not bad, by any means, but it did seem highly manufactured and plastic, an overdone and emotionally generic performance that is to the stage what Kim Kardashian is to physical appeal; shallow, empty, fake.

The highlight and single bit in which an actor managed to stand out was Martin Sheen’s magnificent monologue which he built up a powerfully, imbuing the lines with more and more emotion and passion until the fiercely dynamic climax and eruption of loud applause, followed by the denouement of the play. The monologue was, however, sadly ruined by the poor quality of the rest of the play which was either robotic and bland or overdone and far too much done by, “actors,” rather than, “characters.”

Overall, the play would have a more meaningful theme if it was not written by someone who had a vested interest and written as what essentially turned out to be a propaganda piece. The acting was horrifying and disturbing to say the least and the only emotion it elicited, was extreme disappointment. The only conclusions that the logical viewer walks away from this play with are, “Thank God Hollywood actors are limited to films with many takes and the ability to edit.”

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