The average rating for Smoking with Lulu, Vol. 1 based on 2 reviews is 3.5 stars.
|Review # 1 was written on 2010-08-26 00:00:00|
The ancient story of Gilgamesh - one of the world's oldest surviving poems -- is a sweeping tale of friendship and fear of death. I highly recommend the Stephen Mitchell translation/interpretation for an eminently readable, entertaining version. The tale, though, is expansive and far reaching, encompassing multiple characters and locations and conflicts. Squeezing this expansive vision onto the stage is certainly a challenge. Komunyakaa and Gracia hit all the key moments of the poem and tell the story in a logical and comprehensible manner. (Though I'm unsure how the audience will know who some people are.) Their presentation, however, feels choppy and fragmentary. This complicated, wide-ranging story is presented in a number of short scenes jumping from character to character and place to place. It just didn't feel very fluid. I felt like it needed some kind of narrative device to hold it all together. Perhaps a narrator to fill in the gaps between the scenes and help sustain the mood from one scene to another. It has a Chorus, but it is woefully underused. Perhaps focus a play on one scene rather than try to tell the whole story. For a "verse play" as described on the cover, the language felt a bit flat. It was both prosaic at moments ("In the forest // I learned to read // the minds of animal.") and artificially elevated ("Did I not put …."). There was some quasi-mystical language, but outside the song of Siduri (which is very good), there's not much that couldn't have been written as prose. While the play may not achieve its ultimate goal, it is a worthy experiment. This would be a challenge for any playwright.
|Review # 2 was written on 2018-07-28 00:00:00|
A moving dramatic rendering of the great myth, though should not be taken as a substitute for the epic in general. David Ferry's translation for instance would be recommended before this one for a first take. Komunyakaa's powerful verses anchor a Gilgamesh world well worth the read.
CAN'T FIND WHAT YOU'RE LOOKING FOR? CLICK HERE!!!