Except I can’t tell you more about the secret history of the Big Cherry, it’s horrible and definitely annoying in general. The American story is equally frightening to most of us who have been taught treasure. They need to be disclosed – and in the same vein, a backlash inevitably welcomes attempts to do so. You should only look at state laws, such as the one in Texas, aimed at limiting history lessons to white-triumphant stories, or 1619 Some responses to the project, To know that questioning in our past can be a dangerous business. “The Minutes” shows that the basic stories that unfold can make some other rational people feel like tearing their hearts out. They tear someone else apart.
But with nothing but admiration for what Letts is trying to do, and his choice to engage the genre’s tools to do so, I have a lot of questions about how to play it for the audience. His frequent colleague Anna D. Directed by Shapiro, “The Minutes” does not completely nail its U-turn into the scary horror of dropping jaws from expert comedy, which it tries to make the first half of the game better by using toxins. The second. Occasionally flashes and sizzles and flickers (light by Brian McDavit; sound by Andre Plus) interrupt bureaucratic satire with alarming alarms. The flames of apparently motivated aggression – the two councilors debating Lincoln SmackDown – reaching their own SmackDown – suggest an irrational outburst of evil to come.
These staging clich रs and comic bits, often at the expense of character logic, don’t really prepare us for the horrible revelations of the play – and perhaps that’s exactly what Lets think we’re not ready for. Who ever
Still, while trying to use purely theatrical means to escape the snare of preaching, many well-intentioned plays fall into the trap of “The Minutes” of bad taste. Involvement in the council’s ethnic competition – Mr. Blake, the only black member (K. Todd Freeman) also happily participates – makes for a very uncomfortable point of laughter. I question whether the story earns the right to return to such imagery later, this time seriously.
I’m not arguing against bad taste in general, and it may at least serve as an element of caution for white people here: don’t try this racism at home. Yet, whether in the audience or not, I couldn’t help but think of the “The Minutes” among Native Americans. Does it make sense that their culture, once again, was borrowed and distorted to make someone’s point? Will the trade-off be worth it?
It’s the kind of drama you thought so much about, I re-played it long after those questions ended, measuring against my own reactions to the dramatic troupes of Judaism and homosexuality, modifying and refining my idea of its merits. You can too
Eventually, I realized that if this is the main business of the theater then who are we – acting like the minutes of a meeting, as a complete record of what we say and how we behave – then what “The Minute” does. Drama that mostly targets white people. It shows us how we have come to understand, but still often fail to accept, that our privileges are tied to a history of denial to others. I think it warns us, in its own dramatic way, to do better, minutes ago, that they, in the millennia, are going to be tough.
July 24 through Studio 54, in Manhattan; theminutesbroadway.com. Running time: 1 hour 30 minutes.