March 23, 2011

EDUCATING RITA: Audience Comments

Have you seen Educating Rita? Please share your comments with us.

Jane Pfitsch and Andrew Long, photo by T. Charles Erickson
 How does Rita's experience as a student remind you of or differ from your own?

Did Rita or Frank change in surprising ways? What do you think happens to them after the curtain comes down?

Did you attend a post show conversation? What comments surprised you or made you think differently about the play? Would you attend a post show conversation again? What were you thinking about on the way home from the theatre?

Leave your comments here.

The Huntington Theatre Company production of Educating Rita by Willy Russell plays now through April 10, 2011 at the B.U. Theatre, 264 Huntington Avenue, Boston. Get tickets and information or call our Box Office at 617 266-0800.

18 comments:

Mary Ellen Palermo on Facebook said...

Both actors were fantastic - fun play to watch!

Helene C. Mayer on Facebook said...

Saw the show during previews. See it; it's wonderful.

C. R. Wolfe said...

Excellent character interpretations, set, lighting, costumes. Rita/Ms. Pfitsch's initial accent was difficult at times, particularly when she dropped the last word in sentences. Perhaps the problem was the miking. I was in Row E of the Balcony. I look forward to other plays in which Ms. Pfitsch and Mr. Long appear.

Craig said...

Not my cup of tea, this play about a working class immigrant who engages with the world of academia in visits to a professor, her tutor. I applaud the hard work of each actor: a two person must be a difficult script to pull off, and so much rides on the chemistry between them. But I grew tired of the relationship and the story: characters lacked depth or any intriguing uncertainty to go home with. A square story--neat, with no moral ambiguity. (Contrast this play with Vengeance is the Lord's, an earlier Huntington Theater production. Educating Rita, A little too cut and dry for me.

Jim said...

Very enjoyable play; great sets and lighting; well-acted in what must be, as others have pointed out, difficult to do in a two-person setting. Frank reminded me of John Cleese (that's a very favorable reference for me), and while Jane Pfitsch's accent was a little slippery at times, both actors projected well. I found Ms. Pfitsch's facial flexibility remarkable as she clearly conveyed the transition from narrow and confined to confident and educated. Overall, very much worth attending!

Nan said...

Actors were terrific...set was amazing. We sat in the mezzanine. Understood about 50 percent of Rita's dialogue...everyone around us agreed. The accent, the speed, the miking? Dunno, but maybe it could be fixed.
Nan M.

pgeschauzier said...

I enjoyed the play but found Ms. Pfitsch's very hard to understand. Attempting a Liverpudlian accent and her rapid fire delivery made it almost impossible to follow the dialogue.

Anonymous said...

My wife and I also had difficulty with the accent, particularly early on before Rita changed. Both strong actors.

Great set as always.

The talk back was interesting and Charles handled it very well.

This was a Pygmalion story with a twist in that Rita really initiated it rather than Frank. Although there was a somewhat ambiguous ending, I think that Rita had her own life ahead and it didn't include Frank. There are all kinds of risks in the teacher-student relationship.

Bob

gene devita said...

I usually enjoy your productions and some are works of art that provoke me into looking at things differently, examining my preconceptions - "All My Sons" did this.
"Educating Rita," while it was amusing, left my preconceived notions in tact - it was pleasant, but not moving. Its quality was greatly lessened by Jane Pfitsch's performance, specifically how incomprehensible her speaking voice was.
A theater goer made this same observation in a letter that was printed in theater pages of Sunday's Globe. After reading this, I sent the following to the Globe:

Last week you printed a letter that noted the poor enunciation of Jane Pfitsch's Rita, in the Huntington's production of "Educating Rita," making it nearly impossible to understand what she was saying. May I add my agreement. Much of the time her voice sounds like the "waaa waa waaa" sounds that Charlie Brown hears as his teacher speaks in the "Peanuts" cartoons on TV. The only time you can really understand what she's saying is halfway through the second act when, for a few minutes, she adopts the "upper class" accent her roommate favors and that her tutor, Frank, berates her for using because it is inauthentic. Don't directors, dialogue coaches listen to how their actors sound by sitting, now and then, half way back in the house during rehearsals. As is done with operas that are sung in other languages, will we be forced to resort to subtitles across the top of the stage to help us follow what is being said so badly and in such a muddle on stage? thanks, gene devita

Anonymous said...

The play was good but suffered from Rita's cockney in the first act which was hard to ubderstand.fi

Anonymous said...

There was one major problem that I had with the show. It was extremely difficult to hear Rita clearly. I am not sure if it was her pitch or rapidity of speech, or both, but probably most of her lines were lost on me. I could hear every word Frank said.

Anonymous said...

Good production, great set and light, good chemistry between actors. The only issue was with Rita's accent which jumped between Dublin and Leeds, occasionally, only occasionally hitting the Liverpool I think she was aiming for. What was the voice coach doing? Otherwise I thought Rita was beautifully played.

Paula Menyuk said...

I am always impressed by the ability of the actors who are part of the huntington season. The two actors in Educating Rita were excellent and the play is delightful. The meaning of the proposed hair cutting was discussed by me and my theatre companions. We were all fully engrossed by contemplating the history of the two characters. We were engaged.

Jessica said...

Maybe it was because I saw one of the last shows and she got better at enunciated or the sound system was tweaked, or maybe it was because I was in the fifth row, but I didn't have any problems with Ms. Pfitsch's cockney accent as Rita. I appreciated the play pointing out that when Rita became the person she wanted to be, her tutor felt that he had lost someone. This is a feeling/reality that anyone who has experienced significant change in someone who we liked to begin with has to deal with.

Donna said...

The six of us that attended also had difficulty understanding Ms. Pfitsch's dialogue. We did enjoy the play and as usual your settings are amazing. The cigarette smoke was a bit over bearing, it traveled all the way to the balcony. It amazes me how two actors carried the whole play, what a lot of work!

Shelly said...

Enjoyed the show very much. Thought the two actors did a great job, especially Ms. Pfitsch; but I, too, had difficulty understanding some of her speech.

BaBa said...

Sorry, didn't like it because I couldn't understand one word of Ms. Pfitsch. We left at the intermission.

FAC said...

My comment is the same as a few of the notes, above.... I don't know whether it was the miking or speed of delivery or "missed enunciation", but I found Rita's lines very difficult to follow. (I was in Row N.) A bit better after intermission, but still a challenge.