Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Not so rough crossing at Yale Rep

If you’re up for light entertainment, Tom Stoppard’s Rough Crossing, opening Thursday at Yale Rep, may be just the froth you’re looking for.

Or not.

First, count me among those who never knew that Tom Stoppard dabbled in musical farce. Second, while the program notes make this particular play out to be of some historical interest because of its pedigree, and while a score by André Previn ought to have given us some catchy tunes to whistle on the way out of the theater, alas, there is just no there there. Did I say froth? Well, the motif is nautical, so perhaps I should have said foam. But there’s really more substance to the head on a glass of Guinness than there is to this entertainment.

Which is fine, as I said, if you’re up for a brief interlude of light entertainment (and after seeing The Boy in the Striped Pajamas last week, I was certainly in the mood for light entertainment myself).

The set and the staging are flawless and delightful. The script is witty, if weightless, and the cast is excellent. A few lines were swallowed and a few were stepped on, but overall the timing was sharp, which is important with broad physical comedy.

Worth a special trip to New Haven? Maybe. Depends how much cheering up you need and how far you have to travel. Will your life be significantly diminished if you miss the show? Nah.

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