Craig Willis

Note: This review will appear in the 3/11 Eugene Weekly.



Benjamin (Patrick Driscoll) and David (Jacob Smith) in the Lord Leebrick's The Four of Us. Photo courtesy Lord Leebrick Theatre

Friendship, Hateship, Jealousy, Writing
Love, meet success in The Four of Us

By Suzi Steffen

First of all, get over the Teddy bear.

Director Craig Willis mentioned the stuffed animal in pre-show publicity several times, and OK, it’s practically a third character in one vivid scene of Itamar MosesThe Four of Us at the Lord Leebrick Theatre.

But since it’s not a writer, the bear can’t focus on its work to the exclusion of its friends, the way young novelist Benjamin (Patrick Driscoll) can; and it can’t attempt to be happy for its friend’s success in the midst of feeling jealous, as David (Jacob Smith) ends up trying to do after Benjamin’s rocket ride to novelist superstardom.

Read more after the jump!

Hello, Eugene's theater-going crowd! I watched the Lord Leebrick Theatre's production of Shipwrecked! by playwright (as my compatriot in reviewing puts it, Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright) Donald Margulies last Friday night at the opening.

I laughed some, and I loved parts of the first "act" (I'm not sure the play should have been divided at all, it's so short, but on the other hand, a 90-minute no-intermission play can be hard on the audience, not to mention the insanely hardworking cast of this particular play). I thought the set, the shadow puppets, the character changes and other things were almost all fantastic.

But then things hit a snag. The main character rescues a boat with three Aborigines in it, and eventually he goes with them back home to their village/town/tribe, where he becomes their ruler after impressing them with his gymnastic ability and his ability to defeat a neighboring tribe by showing off his stilt-walking prowess.

I'll paste in my review, which is also here, below.

In short, I was disturbed by the script and by some design choices, and I talked briefly with Leebrick Artistic Director Craig Willis and play director Fred Gorelick about the issues I had, so I think they are both aware of my concerns.

That said, I'd like to open up the discussion to them and to others (the actors, other audience members, etc.), so the point of this post is for people familiar with the play (here or elsewhere) to talk in the comments about the content.

If you haven't seen the play or read the script, I'd ask you to wait until you have, but please do feel free to comment once you do know more about the issues.

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