Monday, April 26, 2010

Review of The Good Soul of Szechuan at Strawdog Theatre Company

Once upon a time I went to a play and it was called Good Soul of Szechuan. It was about this girl and her name was Shen Te. And she was in love with a pilot and she had a friend who was a water seller. And she was very kind to everyone. And she owned a tobacco shop, and she thought it was a present from the gods. The gods were actually her friends and so was the water seller. She almost got married to the pilot but he got mad at her at the wedding because the cousin wouldn’t come. She was actually the cousin! They both have black hair and looked the same—other people couldn’t tell because her hair was kind of put up because then everyone wouldn’t know who she was. She told the water seller that she was pregnant. She was very excited.

My dad in one of the scenes was very crumpled and dirty and torn. That’s because he was very poor. His song was about pigs and I really liked it because I thought it was funny and cool. And it went like this: “Pigs will fly! Pigs will fly! Oh yeah. Oh yeah yeah yeah.” I loved everything my dad did. An example of something that I liked was the dramatic talking when he had torn clothes—I thought that was cool. I thought that a scene with a rope was kind of scary because he was going to hang himself.

One of my favorite songs was with Shen Te. She got interrupted—that’s why it was so short—I thought that it was pretty hilarious. Her character was pretty funny too. Michaela is one of my friends. Shen Te and the cousin had different voices. I think that was a good decision because then she didn’t sound like she was a girl really. When she sounded like a girl she was a girl and when she sounded like the boy she was the boy. When she was pregnant and a boy she looked like she was pregnant. When she was a boy she walked more coolly. When she was a girl she walked more fancy. She was good because she helped everyone. She let people stay overnight. Shen Te liked it in the rain and then she is out of the scene. She sounded really cool.

Mrs. Shin--she was played by Shannon. Mrs. Shin, Shannon, those kind of sound the same, don’t they? She was the girl who interrupted the song which I was talking about. I thought she was really funny in that.

Shu fu wanted to marry Shen Te but that was not the man that she loved. Well, he walked with his hands kind of funny just so the play would be funnier.

I really liked the part where the family stays with Shen Te. I thought they were funny. They weren’t very good guests, but the actors were good. They teased and also one other thing—she got from the wife and the husband some poison. And Shen Te was like, “Poison!?”

Mrs. Yang—she was kind of funny, as well. About everyone in this play was funny sometime. And she was also at the wedding and she watched for the cousin. She didn’t exactly say funny things but she did stuff funny. Like looking out the window for the longest amount of time. And then she was like slam and then everyone was like—what??!

The gods were also very funny. When he said, “one good soul will be enough,” he yelled and it was like a big gigantic speech. The gods were there for to find a person who didn’t turn bad. They got dirtier and dirtier and at the end they were the dirtiest of dirty. And they gave her a crown and the scepter. I have no idea why they did that. Just to be funny I think.

The water seller didn’t get paid. Because nobody wants the water because nobody thought that water was very healthy for you in Szechuan. I thought that he was sometimes pretty funny and sometimes pretty hilarious—which both mean the same thing. If all of you know that, that’s pretty good. If you don’t, that’s ok. You can learn it from me, Ada Grey!

I thought how they did the trial scene was very dramatic. It was still my favorite scene even though I don’t talk about it very much in my review.

And there is parts with lights in it and they blink blue and red and pink. Michael did like the lights blinking. He is also a stage manager. Michael let me kind of help—I snuck into one of the scenes in a rehearsal. I put pieces of tape under some chairs and benches.

There wasn’t really a set. It was just props that they used for scenes. I thought that it was cool. The costumes made me think certain things about the characters—like that they were very poor. The shawl was very beautiful and it was blue and had flowers on it. The gods’ costumes made me think of flags--because they are gods and gods are like presidents. I think Aly made the gods’ costumes look like flags on purpose.

I though it was really fun to have a band. If I was in a band I would want to play the guitar. I thought the guy who played the guitar was kind of funny. I thought that he kind of was funny because when it was intermission he strummed the guitar and said it and the lights went out. And I thought it was going to be a song!

The directing I thought was funny and cool. A particular scene that I liked was the end scene. What I liked about it was that they shook their fingers and then they looked like tigers. Well the director just made the play not as sad so the teenagers would like it. Teenagers might like it more than littler kids. If it wasn’t funny, then the teenagers might be kind of scared. If it was sad then they would be sad and they would cry a little. And if they cried a little and they liked to cry that would be okay. And if they didn’t want to cry then they wouldn’t have to because it would be funny enough.

Grownups, teenagers, kids would like it. (But not little ones—I think they would be a little scared because some parts are scarier than they would think. If the parents did tell them about the scary parts then it wouldn’t be as scary for them.) The people who would like it are people who are funny and smart and good to other people.

The end.

Photo: Chris Ocken