theaterboy's got mail:
Hi theaterboy (oh how your anonymity titillates!) --
I am the person who wrote that excerpt from a review of Patience for Metro Weekly a few weeks ago. I don't know how much of the review you actually read, but I did follow that "summary" up with the following statement:
"Instead of Job’s legendary repentance to turn to dust and ashes, Reuben responds with more questions, more pride, less humility, and less interest in human nature."
I am writing just to make it clear that I did understand Sherman's ideas that redemption in our current state of affairs is hardly comparable to the variety of redemption God offered to Job... Still, in summarizing the plot of the play, early on Sherman leads us to believe that somehow, some way Reuben will be redeemed. The surprise is that he leaves us in a state of aporia, and we are all left to determine what his own redemption is worth and what is valuable to Reuben, and ultimately, for ourselves.
While Sherman is a very talented playwright, I found that his scenes work better as small vignettes rather than as a whole; I felt as though each scene works well as a ten-minute play by itself, but when merged into a larger plot, it makes the production choppy... Ah, but of course this is all just my own opinion, for whatever it is worth.
Regarding the "American Dream" qualifier, Scott does bring up an interesting point. However, I stand behind my description, Canadian playwright or not. Canada is not the country known well for its ambitious rat-race and corporate jungles. While I was under the impression that the setting is intentionally ambiguous about location -- be it Canada or America (I only recall one Canadian reference that Kim Schraf's character makes when she discusses her new life with Reuben, and even then was not distinct enough), I think the basic idea is that the story could take place in any locale. It's still the "American Dream."
While we're mincing descriptions, I'm surprised that you didn't catch other reviewing faux pas that have been made regarding Patience in others' reviews... for instance the characters playing "racquetball" (they made it evident they were playing squash). LOL... it kills me when I read technical mistakes that well-reputed critics make carelessly. It makes one wonder who is really paying attention...... who, me? catty? :)