I’ve had it with this woman’s interpretation of classic plays. In fact, I’ve had it with anything that she does. As Creative Director for ACT she seems to do fine and stays out of the way of the performances. But, as a director of stage she a failure. Anything she touches is tedious, poorly paced, and will have characters and actors you just can’t give a damn about. I have yet to walk out of a show she directs with anything more than a “Well, I guess that was okay…” It’s this signature style of hers that just leaves you cold and without any interest in what she does.
Such is the case with The Voysey Inheritance which opened recently. The script is great as it was written by a great writer and adapted by a great adapter (David Mamet) and you can feel the narrative coursing around. But what Perloff has done with this work is just criminal. It’s bland, banal pace at first seems like the mechanism to draw you in to the material of the play, but it soon shows you that that’s all there really is to it; nothing. The actors sit there like paperweights, waiting to be moved by some force that doesn’t exist or doesn’t have the ability to move them, i.e. Perloff.
And this boring event is not the actors’ fault. I’ve seen many of them in other plays by ACT which were excellent. The main difference? Yes, you guessed it, Perloff wasn’t at the helm. I feel sorry for them being trapped by this woman’s decrepit and stymied “style”. Of course they’re probably used to it, because just as they’re rolling along with some good part sin some good plays, Perloff comes in and craps all over everything with something like Voysey.
The really amazing (or maybe not so much if you know San Francisco) is the fact that she seems to be the critics’ darling. Voysey has been getting rave reviews. The Chronicle gave it their highest score for instance and this is always the case. It’s like there is this fanclub of 10 people chanting “Carey! Carey!” anytime she takes the reigns at ACT. But, every time she does, the play falls flat on its face.
It’s not just me that feels this way. Anyone I know who knows her and what she does agree. Beyond the fact her directing skills are piss poor, she also has a bad habit of trying to toss in a dash of Post-Modernism just for flare. Given the idea that you need a damn solid foundation to build something like that on, you can see that it is destined for crapdom. My girlfriend feels the same way. After walking out of Voysey, she looks at me and says, “I just really didn’t care much about that.” to which I naturally agreed. Needless to say, we went home and watched a good movie from Netflix called Arlington Road that was considerably more rewarding.
Carey, do us all a favor and step down. Let someone run ACT that has a love of theatre and isn’t trying to press their own ideas into what is a centuries old and extremely well-established medium. You do the drama community of San Francisco a great disservice. Everyone I know shall be boycotting anything you direct from here on out.