Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Diverse cast comes together in ‘Cocktail’

From the Baton Rouge Advocate:

The cast is good — a successful blending of professional and student actors — the choreography is fast, together and hip, and the real life story of Thai researcher Krisana Kraisintu is compelling. The play’s weakness lies in the storytelling.

The stage version of Kraisintu’s life pits her against the Thai government, which wants the scientist to lead a team in the production of headache remedies and vitamin syrups, and the world’s drug companies which are happy to rid the world of disease if there’s money in it.

LiCata’s and Chong’s play has Kraisintu, played by Mia Katigbak, overcoming obstacles by ignoring them. There’s no tension, no make-them-laugh, make-them-cry, make-them-wait.

There are some wonderful scenes, one in which a drug manufacturer’s mascot, a giant, red and white panda, does a madcap number with robot-like dancers in white shirts and black trousers.

When Kraisintu meets representatives of the company that owns patents on drugs she needs for her HIV cocktail, the scene is played more for laughs.

If the writers’ intention was to create a situation where corporate greed and insanity lose to honesty and inexpensive innovation, “Cocktail” needs fewer laughs and more drama.

More here.

Well, I'd agree with that last statement if it was, say, 1965 or so. That is, this show is definitely in the postmodern tradition, which according to Wikipedia, is characterized by, among other things, "the abandonment of strong divisions of genre, 'high' and 'low' art, and the emergence of the global village." That is, playing comedic subjects dramatically, or dramatic subjects comedically, is totally fair game in this day and age. In fact, such an approach has become so ordinary and commonplace here some twenty years into the Pomo era that TV, film, popular music, and advertising abound with such examples. It is odd, indeed, that the Advocate's reviewer didn't at least make mention of postmodernism as an artistic approach in the review.

Maybe he just doesn't understand.

Nonetheless, judging by the overall article, he found much to like about Cocktail, and I'm satisfied with that. I mean, he continues to ingnores me, but in this case, I'm in a huge cast, so I guess that's just something I'll have to deal with. At any rate, audiences seem to be downright inspired by the show, just as I am by performing in it.

We run through Sunday. Come see it if you're in the Red Stick this week.