A good nap spoiled
January 29, 2012 Leave a comment
Sarah and I saw Red at the Arena Stage tonight, and it received a standing ovation from the majority of the crowd present.
Personally, I thought it was a poorly written, nearly plotless play about an unlikable, pretentious artist. The play dripped with condescension toward those who disagree with whatever art fad is currently in fashion, and both lauded and legitimized the view that only the artist can determine the “proper” customers of his (or her) art.
I know little about the real-life Rothko, although I know that I do not like his work – the vibrancy, pulsing, and other terms which are usually applied to it is utterly invisible to me. When compared to his contemporary René Magritte, Rothko’s deficiency becomes painfully obvious. However, if he was as unpleasant as this play makes him seem, then I’m particularly surprised that anyone was willing to give him the time of day, much less treat him as part of a new artistic vanguard.
Sarah thought the play was somewhere between “ok” and “pretty good,” so she had a significantly higher opinion of it than it did, but she likewise was surprised by the ovation.
Given the audience’s reaction, I can tell that my opinion is in the minority (singularity?) on this. Whether this is me expressing my philistinic lack of cultured appreciation or describing the emperor’s nakedness is obviously in the eye of the beholder.