April 29, 2006

Three Days of Rain

Okay. I've seen the show five times this week. I really wanted to be fair to Julia Roberts before I reviewed her performance, giving her ample opportunity to improve. She never does. She just doesn't get better.

Every show she gives the same flat, soft-spoken, low energy performance. It's like she's on valium. There are scenes where she interacts with either one or both of her male co-stars who run around the stage with abounding energy. They give her so much to work with. Yet she somehow sucks it all in and then neutralizes all the life force being given to her as a gift from the other actors.

And she drops practically every line - well, maybe dropped isn't the right word. She seems to speak downwards. She ends every sentence at a lower pitch than she started. And she does seem as wooden as the reviewers said. Especially when compared to Bradley Cooper's performance which is like bubbly champaign next to her flat gingerale.

I realized for the first time last night that she must not have any formal theatrical training - that she's probably been getting by on her sweet personality and good looks. In film, she's great. She connects immediately with audience and is usually instantly sympathetic. She was great in Erin Brokavitch - so great in fact she won an Oscar.

But there won't be a TONY anytime soon, that's for sure.

Today I have to work on the revivial of Neil Simon's Barefoot in the Park which the critics absolutely hated. With the exception of parts of the Odd Couple, I generally hate Neil Simon. He always portrays women in a bad light.

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