Day 16: Talk Radio
This play was at the same Drama Center on U of M’s north campus as the last play I attended. This was a plus because I already knew how to get there and didn’t get lost. The downside was that a real play was happening in the same building so they were charging $5 for parking. Being the cheap person that I am I drove around until I found a lot that was free after 6pm. The problem was that though I could see the building where the play was being performed it would have taken a long time to walk there on the sidewalk. Since I was all paranoid about being late, because last time they wouldn’t let me in until intermission, I decided to take a shortcut and walk down this big hill. I didn’t take into account the wet ground and the lack of tread on my boots and I totally bit it.
Anyway, once I finally got there I met up my friend Anne – who got there before me because she just ponied up the $5 and didn’t fall down a hill. We were also met by Anne’s friend Lia.
The play was about a talk radio personality and his show on the night before it was being picked up for national syndication. His character was supposed to be glib, opinionated, rude, and harsh. The radio show was a call in show and the best part of the play, for me, were the four people who played all the callers. They functioned kind of like a Greek chorus.
I think the biggest issue I had with the play was the actor who played the lead character. I didn’t find the character sympathetic at all. The character was supposed to be good at talking, but the actor was not. He didn’t know all his lines and it showed. Anne said, “I don’t think the play itself was bad. I think it was dated [it took place in the mid-1980s]. The main character needed to have an intensity and charisma that he lacked. And height.” Lia added, “He wasn’t lacking in beard.”
Linda, the producer and sometime girlfriend of the DJ, at one point said, “Barry Champlain is a nice place to visit but I wouldn’t want to live there.” I guess that’s how I felt about the play. It wasn’t horrible, though the acting left something to be desired, but it wasn’t good either. I do want to see the Oliver Stone movie version of Talk Radio. It stars Eric Bogosian, who also wrote it and I think is the poor man’s Elliot Gould.
I did have a good time talking about the play afterward with Anne and Lia. If anyone is interested Talk Radio will run through the 18th. If you go see it please let me know what you thought.
Tomorrow night Katie and I will be at the Michigan Theater for a Little Mermaid sing-a-long. I’m super excited!