Some Editing and Some Theme Music
nytheatre.com review by Gyda Arber
August 18, 2009
As you enter the theatre for Some Editing and Some Theme Music, you are greeted by the sight of three actors, each in front of a laptop, ostensibly checking their email/Facebook/YouTube accounts. As the play begins, Cecile Monteyne (played by Cecile Monteyne) starts recording a vlog (video diary, usually uploaded to YouTube) entry (simultaneously projected on the screen at the back of the stage) about the size of the house, her parents' attendance at the show, and her thoughts on her costume, including the martinis on her pajama pants. This introduction effectively sets the tone for what turns out to be a fascinating and funny treatise on narcissism.
The show continues with each actor creating vlog entries, watching earlier vlog entries, and performing excepts from and about diaries over the last 350 years (proving that, as much as we'd like to think so, extreme self-indulgence isn't unique to current American society). As the show comes to its conclusion, it begins again, this time silently, as the voice of director Jean Ann Douglass provides a hysterically funny director's commentary, just like on a DVD, with her random, sometimes inane thoughts about the show and her process. This is where the play really shines; ridiculous egotism really has reached its pinnacle on many commentary tracks, and Douglass spoofs this to great effect.
The cast (and by cast, I include the director) does a great job at presenting self-absorption in a charming way without being annoying. Monteyne, Julia Frey, and Evan Prisant play versions of themselves that captivate us even as they crack us up. Douglass has created a scathing critique of narcissism, presented in such a humorous and upbeat way, that is highly worth checking out—the best show I've seen in the festival thus far.