Monday, February 16, 2015

review - JULIAN SANDS IN A CELEBRATION OF HAROLD PINTER - Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts

"Harold Pinter is extremely well known for the many plays and screenplays he wrote, including Betrayal and The French Lieutenant's Woman. But over his fifty-year career of writing for the stage and screen he also quietly published an abundance of poetry and prose. In 2005, the stage and screen actor Julian Sands was personally asked by Pinter to read some of his poetry at an event in London, Under the direction of his friend John Malkovich, (Sands) has turned that initial meeting and Pinter's prose into an evening celebrating the playwright. The production is well constructed, featuring ruminations from Sands on his personal friendship with Pinter, insights into the playwright's upbringing and career, and anecdotes about the man and his work from his peers and loved ones. Malkovich and Sands have expertly framed all of these facts, statements, and thoughts on Pinter around Sands reciting Pinter's poems. His delivery of the material evokes a deep connection with the audience. The combination of Pinter's visually descriptive words and Sands' vocal prowess instills a powerful dramatic tension in the auditorium punctuated by moments of laughter from some of Pinter's humorous pieces. While not every one of the poems is successful, the imagery that Pinter's words create and the succinctness of the pieces help the audience get a glimpse into the famous man that his plays only hint at. The friendship that Sands formed with Pinter was a special one and this one-man show turns out to be a combination of theatrical performance, remembrance, celebration, and lecture. It is a highly recommended experience for any fan of theatre, writing, and intellectual stimulation. The Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts should be commended for bringing this intriguing, theatrical experience to town." -Gil Benbrook, Talkin' Broadway (click here to read the complete review)

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