Thursday, April 05, 2012
My Life at the Theater: AUNT DAN AND LEMON
A play by Wallace Shawn, which we saw in 2003 expecting to like because of the rave reviews. It just didn't work for us despite our love of Lili Taylor.
The play told of Aunt Dan (Kristen Johnson)'s political seduction of a family friend's daughter. Aunt Dan is a facist, finding things to like in every far-right regime. Henry Kissinger evokes her most ardent feelings. The bombing in Vietnam was just and right for her. And a generation later, Lemon is spouting Aunt Dan.
I can appreciate what Shawn was saying in this play, but it is very hard to listen to such sentiments delivered for two hours a few feet away. It was, excuse the word, stagey.
Didacticism needs a more subtle voice than this play had for us. If a play can be shocking and boring at the same time, this one succeeded.