|Matthew Maher as Sam. Photo by Joan Marcus.|
Seen on: Sunday, 5/10/15.
My grade: B+. Not my type of play, but truly excellent at what it does.
Plot and BackgroundThe various misadventures of three employees at a single screen crumbling movie theater in Worcester County, Massachusetts. A floor perpetually littered with popcorn and soda cups, and three humans struggling to overcome their own internal blocks in communication. Originally produced at Playwrights Horizons last year, The Flick won the 2014 Pulitzer Prize for Drama. That production, cast intact, has transferred to the Barrow Street Theatre.
What I Knew BeforehandI've read a number of Annie Baker plays, but hadn't seen any yet. I knew that this one was rather controversial in its run at Playwrights Horizons because of its many many pauses and resulting long running time.
Play: As I've said before, I generally prefer shows with actual plots, which this doesn't really have. BUT, if you go in knowing that, I think you won't be disappointed. The play is as much about its three misfit characters as it is about the relic of the theater, one of the last bastions of 33mm projectors against the rising tide of digital, and the struggle of people on the fringe of life to feel like they matter. The play was well-constructed in terms of character development and revelation, and if not hopeful at its core, at least it had a sense of humor about it. Sam Gold directed this play perfectly - everyone talks about the pauses, but they weren't just voids of sound or space - there wasn't an empty moment. If no one was speaking, there was action; if there was neither action nor word, it was still with a specific purpose.