Sunday, March 14, 2010

G. B. Shaw isn't so cool after all...

Well that wasn't fun, going out into a hurricane Saturday to see a friend perform in G. B. Shaw's MAN AND SUPERMAN only to discover that George Bernard Shaw, whom I had thought was a progressive feminist, was in fact just as big a sexist as anybody.

What a disappointment. MRS WARREN'S PROFESSION was such an accomplishment - the economic reasons for gender roles are so rarely acknowledged at all, even today, much less a hundred years ago in a play - and a pretty entertaining play too.

So it was no fun at all to sit through MAN and have Shaw just keep relentlessly pounding on this evolutionary psychology-esque notion that women - apparently by nature - are obsessed with trapping men into marriage. Women at the time the play was written could not vote, could not control their own property, could rarely get a well-paying job to support themselves.

The idea that marriage is for the benefit of WOMEN is utterly insane - just ask the millions of little girls who - in places all over the world TODAY - are sold into marriage to old men to pay off a family debt.

Why does anybody even bother to put on such dated, tiresome plays as MAN? And the cutesy ending made me want to puke too.

The actors for the most part were not to blame in this production, although the director was - if the guy playing the obnoxious Shaw-mouthpiece character was attractive, had a tiny bit of charisma - and an English accent! - and wasn't obviously older than the female lead, it would have been infinitely more tolerable. Instead a young cute guy plays the character that gets dumped. And the lack of English accent was really noticeable - not only did all the other English characters have English accents, but there is an American character with an American accent in the play - which made the fact that the English guy had an American accent all the more glaring. AND there's a whole bit about Cockney accent - Shaw being so fascinated with spoken language. What was the director thinking?

I gotta stop going to these off-off Broadway things - I invariably end up bored or cranky.