Critique - The Miser In the play, The Miser, I was very intrigued by the plot and found the story line to be intriguing. As the play began, I was a little confused with the very opening scene with the two couples dancing blindfolded. I did not understand what exactly was going on and thought that the part where XXXXXX was telling OOOOO that he loved her might have been a better opener. That part really sparked my interest and took me immediately into the character's lives. I thought that the movement on stage was good in that the characters ranged all over. I liked that the characters entered and exited from the side door and that the Miser actually came out into the crowd. All of the movement kept the play alive and dimensional. I liked that the audience members were included and that the characters actually spoke to us.
I thought that the entire play up until the denouement was intense and kept the audience in suspense. However, I was a little disappointed with the ending. I feel like whoever was writing the play realized that it was already pretty long and either couldn't figure out how to end it or was just trying to figure out something to end the play quickly. Everyone was related and the long lost father showed up and would pay for everything. That just seemed very unrealistic and almost forced. The Miser got his money back and did not have to pay for weddings or the deposition, but I would think that he would still be sad. His son still got to have the woman he wanted and he still had no bride and no dowry. Despite the fact that the beginning or the end of the play did not impress me, the meat of the play was compelling enough to allow me to enjoy the production overall.
My favorite character in the play was the cook/coachman. I really enjoyed the comic relief provided by this character. His humor was enhanced by his moment to moment spontaneity. He did a good job of keeping his accent throughout the play and using that to contribute to his overall humor. His facial expressions, even when scenes were focused elsewhere, seemed really honest and true to his character. I thought that it was interesting, though, that he was large guy because he talked about giving his food to the horses. Plus, I would almost think that all of the miser's servants would be skinny because the miser was so greedy with their salaries.
My least favorite character was Mariane and I cannot even articulate why that is. Something about her just did not seem real. I understood her situation, but did not feel like I was feeling what she should have been feeling. I felt as if I were watching an actress when she was on stage instead of being captivated and taken into the play like I felt most of the rest of the time. She seemed a little cold for someone who was earlier described as so warm-hearted in taking care of her mother. Something about her just seemed off for some reason.
Even though the set was stationary, it was still very versatile. Because most, if not all, of play took place within the miser's home, I thought that the arrangement was very appropriate. The audience was not distracted by set changes and could focus on the plot more. The different "rooms" on the stage created enough variety to keep the set from being too boring. I really like the way, the whole in the floor with the ladder symbolized the room in which the miser kept his money.
I really did not notice the lighting or the music, which is a good sign because that means that they both flowed with the scene. I do remember noticing a red light at one point on the Miser when he was at the front and center of the stage and had a substantial amount. The red light provided a glow that enhanced the negativity of the miser. I thought that that was a very nice touch.