The play starts off with Helena, the daughter of the president, visits the robot factory with the intention to liberate the robots as if they were human. In this, we are dumped into the misogynistic world of 1920 Czechoslovakia de Karel Capek (despite it being set in some undefined future). It was intolerable. The Helena character is borderline mentally disabled, a staple of female characters written by men who never listened to a woman. (I even recall hating Helena in my high school reading as well.) The robot factory is on an island, and (naturally) exclusively operated by men. Even the robots were almost exclusively men [which you may have noticed didn't change in storytelling until writers realized that robots were not superior to humans, at which they started being female] except for one: a replica of Helena who was "useless as a worker" because of her whimsical ways.
But okay, I grit my teeth and did my best to not be overwhelmed by that central theme.
The story trundles along, revealing the robots to be organic things akin to super-smart, human-looking, genetically modified animals. It's clear that Capek is making a statement about the ideal worker in either a communist or capitalist world: one that works tirelessly, has no internal drive, and that requires virtually nothing in the form of pay. The robots (naturally) revolt and (despite their intelligence and realization of a finite lifespan) kill off all the humans. Except for those in the factory, at least for a while. They enslave the factory operators in an attempt to extract the formula to make more robots. But all is not lost for humanity and its attempt to be a god, for Helena R. (the robot) apparently has a function after all — at least in not-so-subtle implication.
Aside from introducing the word "robot" into the lexicon, I have to say this play offers really nothing else. It combines man's desire to be a god, the oppressed rising up against their oppressors, and an overwhelming dose of "women are only good for housekeeping and making babies." I want to say that an adaptation would be improved by eliminating the misogynistic overtones, but it so central to the plot that it seems an insurmountable task. At least the actors did their best with it and did a fine job with the script-in-hand reading.
The Dryden Theater at George Eastman House (900 East Ave.) will be showing Les parapluies de Cherbourg(The Umbrellas of Cherbourg) starting at 8 p.m. Here's how the Eastman House calendar puts it: "One of the most beloved and cherished of all musicals is this colorful, romantic, and bittersweet study of love and chance. Guy (Nino Castelnuovo) and Genevieve (the radiant Catherine Deneuve) are the lovesick couple who are torn apart when Guy must leave the seaside town of Cherbourg for military service in Algeria. Every line of dialogue is sung to the memorably haunting score by Michel Legrand."
Dryden Theater calendar][all ages]
Tonight at The California Brew Haus (402 West Ridge Rd.) is Survey Says, really great, tight, current punk-rock from 5 Watt Bulb, and The Cannonball Kid starting around 9 p.m.
the proverbial grapevine]
The Beast Pageant I helped work on this film by Albert Birney and Jon Moses which is due to be screened at the Dryden in September. However, the filmmakers need more money to finish post-production, and have set up a Kickstarter Page for The Beast Pageant for supporters to commit money to the project. If they don't receive full funding by July 22, the project gets canceled.
DreamHost Web Hosting I use DreamHost to run JayceLand.com. Click the ad to buy hosting and I'll get money to run my site. Hooray!
This page is Jason Olshefsky's list of things to do in Rochester, NY and the surrounding region (including nearby towns Irondequoit, Webster, Penfield, Pittsford, Victor, Henrietta, Gates, Chili, Greece, and Charlotte, and occasionally other places in Monroe County and the Western New York region.) It is updated every week with daily listings for entertainment, activities, performances, movies, music, bands, comedy, improv, poetry, storytelling, lectures, discussions, debates, theater, plays, and generally fun things to do.
Music events are usually original bands with occasional cover bands and DJ's with musical styles including punk, emo, ska, swing, rock, rock-and-roll, alternative, metal, jazz, blues, noise band, experimental music, folk, acoustic, and "world-beat."
Events listed take place during the day, in the evenings, or as part of the city's nightlife as listed.
Although I'm reluctant to admit it, it is a Rochester blog and I'm essentially blogging about Rochester events.
I also tend to express opinions, review past events, make reviews, speak of philosophy or of a philosophical nature, discuss humanity and creativity.
Oh, and it's spelled JayceLand with no space and a capital L, not Jayce Land, Jaycee Land, Jace Land, Jase Land, Joyce Land, Jayce World, Jayceeland, Jaceland, Jaseland, Joyceland, Jayceworld, Jayceeworld, Jaceworld, Jaseworld, nor Joyceworld. (Now if you misspell it in some search engine, you at least get a shot at finding it.)
It's also not to be confused with
Jake's World or JakesWorld which is a site of a Rochester animator.
While I'm on the topic of keywords for search engines, this update includes information for Thursday, July 8, 2010 (Thu, Jul 8, 2010, 7/8/2010, or 7/8/10) Friday, July 9, 2010 (Fri, Jul 9, 2010, 7/9/2010, or 7/9/10) Saturday, July 10, 2010 (Sat, Jul 10, 2010, 7/10/2010, or 7/10/10) Sunday, July 11, 2010 (Sun, Jul 11, 2010, 7/11/2010, or 7/11/10) Monday, July 12, 2010 (Mon, Jul 12, 2010, 7/12/2010, or 7/12/10) Tuesday, July 13, 2010 (Tue, Jul 13, 2010, 7/13/2010, or 7/13/10) and Wednesday, July 14, 2010 (Wed, Jul 14, 2010, 7/14/2010, or 7/14/10).
indicates an event that's a preferred pick of the day ... probably something worth checking out.
indicates a "guaranteed" best bet for the particular genre of the indicated event.
links to a band's page on GarageBand.com which offers reviews and information about bands.
links to a band's page on MySpace.com which is a friend-networking site that is popular with bands.