Thursday, June 19, 2008

Appreciation of the Arts

Tuesday, Kyndall and I saw Sweeny Todd – our fourth event as Denver Theater season ticket holders. The minimalist musical casts ten actors and no orchestra. Instead, cast members play the many instruments throughout the show. The cross-skilled performances were mesmerizing.

To the point: I hated it. The musical is about a psychotic barber in a psychotic world that giggles at murder, relishes in gore, and eventually kills everyone on stage except an insane child and an incongruous couple in love. A casket served as the central prop, both bizarre and unnerving – especially the infant coffin in the second act.

Here is the question: was that art? Because it is sung? Because it is on stage? Because we bought tickets? Because it is written /created /whatever? Can a creation, song or even musical NOT be art?

Moreover, am I REQUIRED to appreciate this just because people call it art? Am I undermining the nature of the arts if I say I do not like Sweeny Todd and I wish it had never been part of my season package? Does it make me shallow that I can't APPRECIATE all the "arts"?

Seriously, one can demonstrate moral undertones 1,000 other, better ways. Of course, I am not reflecting on the effort or individual capabilities of the actors. It is just me, saying Sweeny Todd is worthless.

Can I say that?

The production bothered me most when we were leaving. There was no pleasure in the air. There were few smiles. And the father behind me asked his 10 year old son if he liked it as much as the movie. That made my stomach hurt considering how the father must have justified his own stupidity in life.

What is it with parents today? They rocket their children through the barriers parents are intended to defend? They make immature minds responsible for making mature decisions. It's the same idiocy that parents employ to push their children to "find" their own religious beliefs. These are children! Sometimes, I think the parents are the children.

But I digress.

No comments: