Yesterday afternoon I went with my mom to see a matinee performance of The Studio at the South Coast Rep. The play, as I’ve found most things at the South Coast Rep, was wonderful. Not as good as the rendition of Our Town that I saw about five years ago, but very good none-the-less.
The play was about a ballet choreographer and his two dancers. He was considered a brilliant choreographer but was paralyzed by his own feeling of inadequacy. Nothing he did he felt was good enough to live up to the acclaim of his previous works, and in the process of his madness he slowly drove his dancers mad with frustration.
Despite his brilliant choreography, the choreographer is unwilling to show any of his dances. He went so far as to stage an entire production and then never raise the curtain, and when he was done with the dance between these two dancers, he just quit, without ever performing it anywhere.
While this doesn’t sound like a thrilling story, the actors draw you in. They spend a good deal of time talking to the audience, making you feel as if you are a part of the story. That’s one of the great things about the South Coast Rep, the theater is so small you get the sense that you are right there in the middle of the play, not watching people that look like ants on a giant stage.
The Studio is running for another week. Next month I get to look forward to The Real Thing, for which I have tickets in row B dead center. Not great seats in all theaters, but the best at the South Coast Rep.