Thursday, February 13, 2014

Review of Saint Joan at ShawChicago Theatre Company

Once upon a time I went to a reading and it was called Saint Joan. It was written by George Bernard Shaw and directed by Robert Scogin. It was about Joan of Arc (Jhenai Mootz) and about her life and what people thought of her. I think this was different from The Lark because this wasn't her life story as much as The Lark. This was more about the struggles that her friends and her enemies had. It was about what kind of impression Joan gave to a lot of people. It was different things to different people. Like Dunois (Jonathan Nichols) thought of Joan as a great soldier and Courcelles (Mathew Gall), the guy who was obsessed with her stealing the horse, thought of her as a robber. I think this is a long play, but it is the best-acted play I've seen at Shaw Chicago. I liked how there were some humorous parts and some sad parts.

This Joan was different from the Joan in The Lark. She was different because this one was not as good at going with whatever was thrown at her. She was very self confident and thought more about herself than other people. She didn't have as good relationships with the other characters. Shaw saw her as a very feminist person that could go a bit too far sometimes. Anouilh thinks that Joan is somebody people should remember as someone who went through a lot of bad things but she is more loving and kind than Shaw's Joan. Shaw's Joan doesn't care what other people think because she feels like God and her are the most important things. She isn't like any other women in her time, even though there were some other feminist women. The point is that Shaw thinks that people should be feminist but they are sometimes too feminist and people will want to stop that.

The Dauphin (Gary Alexander) is a very selfish character but also he couldn't hurt anything. I think he likes Joan but he doesn't feel like she should be respected more than he is. Sometimes when he is not nice to Joan you don't care because Joan is not very nice either. I think this actor did a good job at being this character. When he first met Joan, he was talking to her like he had known her for years. And then when he had known her for years he acted like he didn't know her! He told her a lot of things when he first met her, but he didn't tell her as much after he had known her.

Dunois was the name of Joan's friend but she calls him Jack. I think that Jack was the one who had the most friendly relationship with Joan because of how Joan talked to him. Jack was one of my favorite character because he was nicer than some of the other characters. When he came out at first he was like, "Oh my gosh, this Joan is magic." He said that because she changed the wind for him. He had tried to to do everything to get it to change. He prayed. He wrote poetry. But when Joan came on the ship the wind just started to blow the right way.

The epilogue was probably the strangest epilogue ever. It is strange because the Dauphin was having a dream and all the ghosts of Joan and Cauchon (Matt Penn) and even just other people who were dreaming were all there in that last scene. That was where Joan found out she'd become a saint. And also everybody just came on at different moments. And the guy who was a British soldier (Jack Hickey) and had held the cross for her and he went in heaven and was like a saint for the anniversary of that moment and then he had to go back to hell. I thought this was a strange ending like I'd never seen before. I don't really know what to think about it. It is called Saint Joan because it is a more important title and Shaw thinks that she left an important mark on history. But in the epilogue he shows that people don't want her to come back because she caused a lot of trouble. Shaw thinks they should have been like, "Yes! We want you to come back to life!" It is because he thought that she could have maybe been a little bit of a better person that she was before. She could have given hope all around the world.

People who would like this show are people who like feminism, the suspense of war, and horse robbery. People should see this show because it is educational and at some points it can be scary and at some points it can be funny.

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