This weekend, I went and saw a play. In the suburbs.
I know, Chicagoists, I know. Calm down. I still love city theatre.
Suburb theatre can be fun too, and I like this particular theatre company - The Metropolis in Arlington Heights. They've actually paid me to be a performer there on two occasions too; I therefore have a soft spot for them.
So occasionally I go back and watch a show there. I never see anything that blows my mind, but nearly everything I've seen there has been solid and entertaining. This is not to say I don't love the edgy, experimental stuff. I do. But still, there's something kind of refreshing about them: they seem to be a group that's perfectly happy to do shows that satisfy their particular audience.
This weekend, the ladyfriend and I saw Dinner for Six, which was written by their resident playwright Scott Woldman. He actually wrote one of those two pay-gigs mentioned earlier.
Scott does a very good job of writing conversational-styled stories. I've seen a couple of his plays now, and this is a recurring theme. His plays are full of character monologues filled with stories about ridiculous things that have happened to them. They're typically very funny and the type of story to which people can relate.
I would love to see an evening of monologues from him.
My issue with his scripts has been that the plot of the play - the actual story happening to the characters RIGHT NOW - always feels more like an excuse to speak these monologues and less like a story in its own right.
He does a better job with Dinner for Six, which is the story of three former college buddies and their wives/girlfriend and a dinner party, but I still think he suffers from the same issue.
Things happen in Dinner for Six - things I won't mention in case anyone is on their way to see the show but that have an actual impact on what happens on stage - but at the end we are left without resolution. And not in an artsy "this play is about how nothing is ever resolved" way but in a "wait, but what about this and this?" way.
You're kind of left with a show that is very funny and that entertains, but it doesn't quite satisfy and it doesn't qute hit home.