Dawson strikes out with “The Chorus of Disapproval”

I generally enjoy the productions at Dawson – it’s a very comfy theatre with good sight lines and clean toilets (yes – I have a fixation – what can I say. Grannies need toilets – and we prefer clean ones). But this time I was very disappointed.

First the facts – this production – unlike many of the Dawson presentations – features a huge cast (I counted 20 performers on stage at one time), and runs until April 27th. So you too can get tickets and be bored. And for Dawson – the tickets are pricy. $12 each is not a fortune, but it’s a waste if the production doesn’t keep you interested. My husband walked out at intermission – along with the couple sitting to our left. I stayed for the whole thing – and was glad I did – it did improve in the 2nd half.

My favorite piece – the bar room fight scene. Not completely believable – but pretty darn good I’ll tell you. They threw punches, rolled on the floor, and even got pulled apart by the other cast members. Nicely done.

I won’t bore you with the story, but I will explain what I think went wrong. Like “Trad” and “Cornered” – this is a British play – and the young actors were directed to use british accents. That’s ok – if they do it well. But I think they found getting the accents right so challenging that they forgot they had to act as well. The result – amateur acting and difficult to understand speech. How silly is that. Had they just been directed to forget about trying to be ‘british’ – their acting skills would have carried the day. Oh well.

Always looking for something good to say – I must tell you that aside from the fight scene, the musical parts were by far the highlights. The cast mostly forgot about faking the accents when singing – and the results were a great deal more pleasant to watch and a lot easier to understand.

The house was relatively full – and based on the applause, and extremely loud laughter from the gentleman to our rear – either friends or family of the players. As it was Opening Night – they served fruit, cheese, crackers and wine after the play. I’m sure they meant it to be a treat – I thought it was a way of rewarding you for sitting through the entire disaster.

Dawson – I know you know that you can do so much better.