Thursday, January 25, 2007

Did Critics Find Radio Golf On Par With Wilson's Other Works?

Did Critics Find Radio Golf On Par With Wilson's Other Works?

Two nights ago, the late August Wilson's Radio Golf opened at Chicago's Goodman Theatre. The play provide the final leg of the Wilson's journey that began with Ma Rainey's Black Bottom back in 1984. Chicago critics were mixed on this show's latest stop en route to Broadway.

Proclaiming the work's "excellence," Chicago Sun-Times' Hedy Weiss offers a positive review: "If (Wilson's) physical being was failing him at the time, the enduring force of his imagination and the lip-smacking delight with which he harnessed that vision for the stage suggest a life force in almost giddily triumphant mode....Faster in tempo than his earlier plays, and more connected to the world of upscale brand names and the marketing jargon of upward mobility, Radio Golf -- splendidly directed by Kenny Leon -- is a play for the age of Tiger Woods, Barack Obama and Bill Clinton's Harlem Renaissance."

Although he calls the show "thick with import," Chicago Tribune's Chris Jones finds plenty to criticize: "When critical analyses are performed at greater, colder remove, I doubt Radio Golf will be regarded as among Wilson's best. It lacks a character of the complex doesn't have the gorgeous linguistic doesn't howl with...poetic anguish...and it doesn't reach for Greek tragedy....Radio Golf has a convention narrative structure....One can predict its main trajectory...even as it unfolds.Things feel, understandably, a little rushed."

Of course, the show is now on a trajectory toward the Great White Way. I'm making my own toward the Goodman Theatre over the next couple weeks and will provide my very own SOB Review then.

This is Steve On Broadway (SOB).

Click here for tickets.
Related Stories:
Radio Golf Tunes Into Chicago Opening Tonight (January 23, 2007)
Reports: August Wilson's Radio Golf To Swing Into Cort (January 15, 2007)

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