Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Brian Cox: Opinionated and in Desperate Need of a Century-Check

I completely adore this New York magazine Q&A with Brian Cox, who is starring in Tom Stoppard's Rock 'n' Roll on Broadway (and before I go any further, I should probably disclose that I'm going to be reviewing it for Back Stage). However, Cox, toward the end of the piece, makes this comment about American theatre that makes absolutely no sense at all. "I always find the American theater is slightly locked in the nineteenth century," he says. "Everything is psychologically based."

Well, if he's referring to the so-called psychologically based theatre of the 19th century -- the rise of naturalism a la Zola, the rise of realism a la Ibsen...um, they weren't American, if my memory serves.

Second, if American theatre was really stuck in the 19th century, I sure as heck wouldn't be endlessly fighting the good fight to make people understand why the likes of Clyde Fitch -- and of James A. Herne and Bronson Howard, of Dion Boucicault and Augustin Daly -- are important to a greater understanding of the American theatre. But then, he's Scottish.

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