Best Show to Make You Think (2002)


The Alley Theatre's November production of Yasmina Reza's Art sparkled with smart ideas about art, modern lifestyles and our passion for everything "fashionable." Reza's flawless script gleefully deconstructs all the folly in our pathetically solipsistic world, including homeopathic medicine, psychotherapy and ridiculously high-priced paintings -- the one in the Alley's production was nothing more than a white canvas on which were drawn three white lines. The Alley's double cast pulled off Reza's insipid world of black clothes and hushed manners with hysterical understatement as they quietly moaned and groaned their way through a number of contemporary anxieties, including the difficulties of family and money, especially when the two are twisted up together. Of course, everything came down to hysterical fisticuffs in the end, when the well-heeled characters couldn't hold in their troubles anymore. Funny as all this was, the best part came later, after the show was over and the actors had gone home. Just a short drive through Houston's streets, full of slick cars and modern town houses, makes everything Reza says about the sad state of our affairs ring dreadfully true.


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