Monday, 9 March 2015
Some Reviews of DUNSTER PUTIN
Dunster Putin opened at Toronto’s Regional Civic Stage recently. It is a controversial new play by a contemporary American playwright from New York City. Below are excerpts from some of the reviews.
The Globe and Mail:
There is a play here, and the author has something to say about the decline of the western world. Our world is in fact, in decline, and many would say that the problems must be addressed. In Dunster Putin you will perhaps not find answers, but ‘finding the answers’ is not what art is for.
Or is it?
I for one enjoyed the play immensely. My companion did not; I don’t know what that means.
Cranston Sullivan the director of the play and the artistic director of Toronto’s Regional Civic Stage has again proved that he is a man of vision. Always willing to experiment and stretch our insights — as well as our comfort zone, he has lately become an especially welcome addition to the Toronto theatre scene. Rumour has it that he is on the list of possible new artistic directors to take over the helm at the Shaw Festival.
If so, so be it.
I have nothing at all negative to say about this significant effort, except that it is tiresomely boring from beginning to end.
However, that is something you will soon forget, as it is only one small aspect of an engaging production that offers huge promise for the future of Canadian theatre.
The Toronto Star:
There is one giant egg being laid at Toronto’s Regional Civic Stage, and it’s not by the hens in the audience clucking about this play's so-called ‘important’ message.
I for one, couldn’t find a message here, though I searched — like Sherlock Holmes minus his Watson — trying to find one.
Whatever happened to lights, glamour and entertainment?
Call me old fashioned but I like my incomprehensible messages to be accompanied by a little song and dance or at least a heart-wrenching storyline.
Not here, though.
Cranston Sullivan has yet again masterminded a mind boggling mess of tedious pretentious claptrap.
Anything might save it — perhaps Sullivan should call up Sky Gilbert (notorious drag queen and ex-Artistic Director of Buddies in Bad Times Theatre) and have him lip synch a pop song or two!
Frankly, anything would be better than this.
And by the way some advice for husbands being dragged to the theatre by your wives — no need to take a valium before the show: Dunster Putin will put you to sleep.
The Toronto Sun:
A fascinating show just premiered at Toronto’s Regional Civic Stage. It is a deep and meaningful play. It fairly drips with very long words and thoughts that form in the characters heads and are then, miraculously expressed through dialogue. You will be drawn to the important message of the play — as well as to the challenging costumes and sets expertly executed by Talia Sybrgnzovitch. The lighting design is more than pleasing and star of stage and screen Dolly Garden is superlative in the leading role.
There is a lot of meat on this bone. This production is very important and is doing something every production must do; be controversial, present day, and up-to-date!
I won’t even attempt to get to the bottom of the complex and challenging ideas that populate this new vibrant play, I leave that to you. But it is definitely saying something.
Now, for Mom and Dad: there is some explicit language. As with the new sex ed curriculum you may find it necessary to put your hands around your little codger’s ears (you know what they say about little pitchers)!
But all in all, it’s worth the trip.
Cranston Sullivan’s new production may not be for everyone. But sometimes that can be good too. There are exciting ideas here, about women, feminism, and the modern so-called ‘rape culture.’ Not everyone will agree with these ideas. Some, in fact will disagree. And that’s the way the world is — there are many diverse people, cultures, races and sexualities in it. And everyone has a different point of view. This production is well executed -- with Sullivan’s effortless direction, Garden’s gleaming performance, and Sybrgnzovitch’s expressive set. Keep a watch out for newcomer Lance Longsheath. He is a talented young ingenue to watch, for sure.
Run don’t walk to see this fabulous challenging production. Everything about it is great, important and meaningful. I highly recommend it. You should go and see this show right away, before it closes! If you don’t you will be missing out on something! It’s a very good show! It really is. You will enjoy it. Everything about it is perfect and super wonderful!