The Last Leaf
Last night was my first experience of watching a play (as part of the Live audience). It was a musical adaptation of “The Last Leaf” by O’ Henry, a story I’d liked immensely when I’d read it as a kid, and a story which I had forgotten a bit. But thanks to a friend who reminded me of the story, I was all ready to go.
In short, there were a lot of expectations from my side as I sat down to watch that play…Jaidev’s adaptation of “The Last Leaf” by O’ Henry.
So, did the play manage to meet my expectations, all of them, or any of them? A solid NO except for the fact that now I can happily say that I have cutoff one of the “Things To Do Before I’m 30” from my list.
Agreed that the play was a “MUSICAL”, but did that really mean that you have to have a song every 2 mins? Songs should help the flow, not hinder it…we felt like we were stuck in the land where time stands still, with no way to go out (thanks to the brilliant seats we'd chosen ). There were just too may songs, and with the audio quality being bad, most of the words were not clear in the songs, making it all the more difficult to follow what the director wants to portray.
Agreed there was not too much scope for dialogues in the story, but if you ask me, there was not too much scope for songs either…maybe they ought to have mixed them well.
Only the girl playing the part of Sue seemed ok, and that was to a large part attributed to the fact that she spoke her dialogues loud enough to be heard, others were just mumbling amongst themselves. The funniest was the Doctor. In order to give a serious look to the character, they had put an artificial paunch in, and the other body parts of the guy were skinny to say the least, and that made for a funny combination, more so when he danced (yes the doctor danced too). And the gag where the doctor goes to the restroom instead of the door every time also fell flat on its face.
The dancer girls were cute, but they did not have a speaking part. The dancer guys were all strongly built, that was needed the way the dances were choreographed (which was again nothing to write home about).
The lighting was strictly ok, and the sound system as I said needs an immediate upgrade.
The total duration of the play was 90 minutes but people had started moving out as soon as 40 minutes into the play, maybe thinking they can still salvage the evening. No such luck befell on us, we had to sit through all of it. People were actually laughing out on serious scenes, and clapping to prompt the cast to end the play then and there which I am sure they understood (poor souls).
The main villain was direction only I guess, the guy saw something in his head (which might have been good), but was not able to bring it out to the audience…and what came out was at most a caricature. Nobody knew whether to laugh or cry, I chose to laugh.
An adaptation of “The Last Leaf” by O’ Henry, directed by Jaideva. Playing at Ranga Shankara, JP Nagar, Bangalore (www.rangashakara.org) . It might be on this week also, do go if you want to have a good laugh.