Monday, March 21, 2011

Good Plays & Bad Plays

I find myself being critical of certain types of plays, and it makes me wonder. For instance, I have a low opinion of schlocky "high school" plays full of sophomoric humor and I have a serious antipathy for plays that are derivative spoofs on another form of theatre. Okay, that's a flat statement. Now, what gets odd is that I tolerate, even appreciate, the same thing in skits. For instance, if I saw a six-minute take-off on "Saturday Night Live" of "The Good Wife," I would probably enjoy it. A full-length 1 1/2- to 2-hour play that was a take-off on TGW, however, I would not sit still for. I wonder if it's a case of a joke should be brief, or a case of how dare you charge money and my time for such a low-class offering? And to take this discussion one step odder, I write farces, so is it a case of the pot calling the kettle black? I hope not. My defense is that only some of the jokes or sight gags in farces are cheap shots, and they don't owe their existence to being a monkey on the back of a better creative work.

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