But, is it art?

Posted 10/14/10

“You paid 200,000 Euros for that …bleep?” The evening is not off to a good start as a proud, bright-eyed Serge (Chris Kendall) dons his white …

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But, is it art?


“You paid 200,000 Euros for that …bleep?”

The evening is not off to a good start as a proud, bright-eyed Serge (Chris Kendall) dons his white museum-handler gloves and carries out his recent purchase to show to his close friend Marc (Jim Hunt). It’s a large abstract canvas painted/textured in shades of white and off-white. Marc totally doesn’t get it and is crudely unkind in stating his outrage— in the brutal manner of some self-appointed-authority types we have met… “It’s by Antrios— he’s very well-known,” says the hurt Serge.

When their edgy friend Yvan (Josh Hartwell) arrives, he tries to remain neutral. Besides, he’s preoccupied with his upcoming wedding, treading in territory which has bad vibes for his buddies.

Director Richard Pegg has made sure the brilliant dialogue moves fast in “Art” by French playwright Yasmina Reza playing at Miners Alley Playhouse.

The scene changes to the homes of the other two are done with a different painting on the mantle and slight rearrangement of a few furnishings. In each case, the compulsive Yvan straightens whatever is on the coffee table.

Each personality is developed through clever conversation and audience members almost have to form opinions.

Pegg’s director’s notes comment: “As an audience member, you will be drawn into this argument. Who will you side with and will you let this painting impose itself on you?

“It’s this very question that makes this play such a treat to direct.”

Pegg has cast three strong actors and works with a script, translated by British writer Christopher Hampton, that is nicely crafted and thoroughly engaging despite minimal physical action— well, there is a fight! Each actor’s body language says so much throughout and each is wonderfully skilled at spinning off the rapid-fire exchange of ideas.

Miners Alley’s productions seem to grow better each year. It cleaned up on June 2010 Henry Awards, given in the Colorado theater community each year. Next in line is a rendering of Dylan Thomas’ “A Child’s Christmas in Wales.”

If you go:

“Art” by Yasmina Reza, translated by Christopher Hampton, plays through Oct. 24 at Miners Alley Playhouse, 1224 Washington Ave., Golden. Miner’s Alley starts reserved seating with this production. Richard Pegg of Highlands Ranch directs. Performances: 7:30 p.m. Fridays, Saturdays; 6 p.m. Sundays. Tickets: $19 to $26.50. 303-935-3044, www.minersalley.com.


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