October 15, 2011

BEFORE I LEAVE YOU: Feedback

Ross Bickell and Kippy Goldfarb in Rosanna Yamagiwa Alfaro's BEFORE I LEAVE YOU. Now through November 13 at the Calderwood Pavilion at the BCA. huntingtontheatre.org. Photo: T. Charles Erickson

Have you seen Before I Leave You? Please share your comments with us.

Whose story did you resonate with the most? The least? Why?

What do you think happened to each of the characters after the curtain went 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?


The Huntington Theatre Company's presentation of Before I Leave You plays now through November 13, 2011 only at the Calderwood Pavilion at the BCA. Get tickets and information or call our Box Office at 617 266-0800.






26 comments:

Anonymous said...

I have been a subscriber for more than 19 years and this is the first review I have ever written. "Before I Leave You" was a play with more cliches, more pat dialog, with a plot that would be regected for T.V. It was so prefictable that I knew what was coming at every stage. I thought Glenn Kubota should have learned his lines before going on stage. This is a play you should NOT see. Rosanne Stein

Rebecca Curtiss, communications manager said...

Rosanne, thank you for taking the time to post your thoughts about 'Before I Leave You' on the blog. We want our blog to be a place where audience members can express their diverse opinions about a production, and are happy to see it used as such. We are very sorry to hear that you did not enjoy the show as much as we had hoped.

As you know, 'Before I Leave You' is a new work currently in development. In the past several weeks, it has undergone line changes, scene cutting, and refinement, and will continue to do so before its official opening next Wednesday. Comments such as yours are extremely helpful to the playwright, cast, and crew as they move forward with the production.

We'd like to invite you back to see the play later in the run and would be interested to hear your thoughts.

Thank you for your longtime support of our work by being a subscriber and for being a voice in the conversation. See you at the theatre.

Meredith Russell said...

My partner and I have just returned from seeing Before I Leave You. We were disappointed, we expect more polished performances from the Huntington. We agreed that the part of Koji was sadly miscast. A better performance would have made a huge difference in the entire production. I spent each scene where he appeared trying to imagine how it might have been played to make the character more real.

Ingevioolin said...

Some of my fovorite plays ever have been new ones at the Wimberly, such as "Sonya Flew" and "Stick Fly." I go with an open mind, and also aware that previews of a new play are not really representative of the final product. Some re-writes will happen, the lines will be crisper, and the pace will pick up. Given that, I still don't think the rather sick jokes are or should be the basis of a good play, and they obscure the real issues of age and culture that were raised. Even the set was disappointing, although Karen MacDonald is always worth the price of admission.

Anonymous said...

What a disappointment for the Huntington. Quite painful to sit through.

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately, I agree with everything that's been said. "Painful" hit the nail on the head.

Anonymous said...

Walked out at the break. Awful writing, bad acting. Disappointed at the lack of professionalism...

Feedback from Post-Show Survey said...

A play with heart performed with heart and skill.

Feedback from Post-Show Survey said...

Awesome - so entertaining. Enjoyed the play soooooo much! Recommending it to everyone.

Anonymous said...

The ensemble acting with Karen MacDonald, Ross Bickell and Kippy Goldfarb was a delight in 'Before I Leave You'. They brought those characters to full life and were a delight to watch. However, what on earth was the director thinking casting such a unqualified actor as Glenn Kubota as Koji? It's a fun script that didn't have a chance with Kubota in a main part. With the huge pool of professional actors in NYC and Boston to draw from, the Huntington should have been able to find a better actor for that central role.

Anonymous said...

It's never a good thing when you find yourself oddly mesmerized by stiff, labored acting and goofs. This really can't be excused as a work in progress, not considering the standards of the Huntington. Even the pile of hometown references and attempts at boomer relevance don't change the fact that this is not a worthy play.

Anonymous said...

This was the worst play I have ever seen. It was too painful to sit through the entire show. I left during intermission. There were no redeeming qualities and if anyone writes anything positive, I would bet it was coming from a friend of the playwright. I have never written an opinion before but felt I should warn anyone interested in seeing this that you will be wasting your time and money. I have thoroughly enjoyed every other show I have ever seen at the Huntington.

Anonymous said...

Very disappointing. Certainly not the level I expect at the Huntington. The play itself was uninteresting, uninspiring, shallow. With all of the issues facing our aging population , one would have thought the writer would have come up with something meaningful.I would like to know that I will not be sorry that I subscribe by having the rest of the season prove to be MUCH better.

Mary Jo Campbell said...

At the "conversation" at the end of the play. I quoted a line from The New Yorker from many years ago. The line was: "It stinks is not constructive criticism". True, but the play stank. I agree that Glen Kubota should have learned his lines and might consider acting lessons - he was terrible.
The play was banal, the characters uninteresting, except, perhaps, for Trish, Harvard Square's answer to a more subdued Blanche duBois.
This was a truly awful play. I, too, urge other subscribers to stay away from this one. It is a waste of a ticket much better used in another venue. I would love to get my subscriber tickets returned to those I have left.

Christopher Austin said...

While I agree that it was disappointing to have a fair number of muffed lines in the Saturday evening performance (10/22), I think that the criticism in some of the prior reviews is too harsh. I very much enjoyed the writing throughout. There were some very interesting interactions among the characters. I liked Jeremy very much and thought Koji was a real bastard who nonetheless could be charming.

My main complaint would be that we didn't realize the official opening was later and that the play was still in development. We surely would have waited for later in the run if we had known. I appreciate the Huntington's work with local playwrights. I would encourage you to see the play. Christopher Austin

Anonymous said...

This was, quite simply the worst, most amateurish play I have ever seen.
The acting, the plot, the character development(or lack thereof), the cliches, stereotypes...all of it.
The only bright spot was the set...very good.
If this play won a competition, I wonder what the other entries must hsve been like!
I've come to think of the Calderwood as a place where new and innovative works can be seen...this was insulting to the intelligence of the audience, and especially to the aging.
Horrific!
What were you thinking?
Marilyn Newman

Paul Phillips via email said...

I found the performance very entertaining and the sets were fabulous.

Feedback from Post-Show Survey said...

We absolutely loved the show. We was myself and my 14 year old who hopes to be on the stage herself. She loved it--although some of the sexual terms were new to her--thankfully! Really, really, an engaging, suspenseful and humorous play!

Feedback from Post-Show Survey said...

I love the Huntington, I love the theatre, feel lucky to be a resident of the Fenway, with the excellent affordable student productions as well as professional ones. Bless you all, performers and the backstage folks.

Feedback from Post-Show Survey said...

Subscribers since 2006. We enjoyed the 2010-11 season a lot and we're looking forward to the rest of this 2011-12 season.

Anonymous said...

I've also been a subscriber for about 20 years, and this was one of the worst plays we've seen at the Huntington. We also thought Glenn Kubota's acting was quite poor and the others were quite mediocre. Surely not the quality the Huntington has demonstrated in the past. The characters were uninteresting and the writing was also very poor. We also seriously considered leaving at the intermission, but hoped that it would improve during the second act, but unfortuantely it was just as bad. I hope the Huntington will select better plays and cast more experienced actors.

Anonymous said...

I also think the criticism is way too harsh. The writing I thought was really good!I laughed a lot, was really amused by the characters and it was fun interesting play. I definitely would recommend.
The one area that I would agree with the criticism is of the actor who portrayed Koji. He was not of the same caliber as the rest of the cast and was the only black mark in an otherwise very enjoyable evening.

Don said...

Cleverly written, very well acted, staged, designed and presented.

This production doesn't try to hit you over the head; it gently and pleasantly infuses you with mature, yet everyday, issues that many of us try to avoid, just as the characters struggle with same.

Some have commented about cliche, yet may have missed the subtle depth underlying the obvious. It is the same subtlety that, left unnoticed, allows the years to slip by with missed opportunity.

This is not a flash and dazzle production. It is high caliber professionalism with a deep luster.

Kim Gordon said...

We came through the storm to see the show and were sorry to be disappointed with the production. It was hard watching the cast struggle with this script that seemed both over-written (heavy-handed exposition) and under-written (all the interesting details about the characters' lives between scenes were missing) at the same time. The best that happened was that four of us had a great discussion over breakfast Sunday, thinking about what went wrong. They can't all be "Candide," but this script wasn't yet ready for a full production.

Anonymous said...

This is a play from the Huntington? Everything about it was predictable and trite. I expect discovery, penetrating dialogue and the unmistakeable ring of truth...and this was a soap opera. The characters and plot line were formulaic; how did this script make it out of workshop on to the stage??? They end up in bed together at the end? Really??????

Evelyn B. Porter said...

The play is wonderful, honestly! I really-really liked it and everything about it: the humor, the cast and the plot! So, thanks a lot for this masterpiece!