Clybourne Park and Level 5 at the Guthrie

J and I went to see Clybourne Park at the Guthrie last Friday. Prior to the performance we stopped at Level 5 for dessert; I got a delightful blackberries, custard and shortbread dessert that was surprisingly good.  So good it made me think about giving Level 5 another chance for an actual dinner meal prior to our next play.

And now returning to the play.
I was not particularly enamored of the idea of going to Clybourne Park to begin with; we just needed another play in the proscenium stage for our season tickets.  However, I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed the performance (and on a side note how tidily the play connected to my final theology paper this spring).

Bill McCallum was fantastic in his roles.  His acting in this play reminded me of his performance in God of Carnage from several years ago (also fantastic, and probably one of the top 3 plays I’ve ever seen at the Guthrie).  He does a fantastic job of acting seriously angry, while still comically hilarious.  For me, his performance was the highlight of the production.

The set also also remarkable, particularly in regards to the drastic change in the set from the first act to the second.  The engineer’s daughter in me kept trying to figure out how they change the entire decor and woodwork of the stage – while still keeping everything structurally identical.

The challenge of diversity was a strong theme throughout the play (and here is the connection to my theology paper – thematic elements overlapped).  I wished, as the play ended, that it would have ended on a more hopeful note of finding a way to coexist and communicate rather than continuing to alienate.  I think the playwright strove for that, but I found the verbal message delivered at the end incongruous with the plot.


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