James’s Musings

thoughts, photography, and geeky stuff
from an unrelentingly curious Silicon Valley entrepreneur

Am I The History Boys’ Good Luck Charm?

by James G. Beldock on June 12, 2006

I went to see “The History Boys” this af­ter­noon, and tuned in to the Tony Awards this evening just in time to see it win Best Play. I don’t think I’ve ever had that ex­pe­ri­ence be­fore.

I haven’t seen the oth­ers yet, but this was re­al­ly very, very good. Dad and I agree that it wasn’t su­perb, just very, very good. Why not su­perb? Mostly be­cause it wasn’t pro­found. But the pro­duc­tion val­ues were ex­cel­lent (and it won a Tony for best light­ing and best scenic de­sign), and the act­ing was ex­cel­lent (how old is that pi­ano play­er? was he ac­tu­al­ly play­ing the pi­ano? is he the playwrite’s au­to­bi­o­graph­i­cal char­ac­ter?). The di­rec­tion was su­perb, and the Tony vot­ers agreed.

Dad, a play­wright in his own right, com­ment­ed that he felt the Headmaster char­ac­ter was too one-di­men­sion­al (“too flat”). At the in­ter­mis­sion, I agreed with him. But at the end, when it be­came clear that the play is, in fact, a mem­oir, I start­ed to won­der: should Bennett have tak­en dra­mat­ic li­cense to make him more in­ter­est­ing? I think not. Dad seems to think so. Interesting ques­tion.

It’s a shame the American the­ater can’t come up with stuff this good as of­ten as the Brits seem to the­se days. It was light, fun­ny, and re­al­ly very good. Perfect for a Sunday af­ter­noon.

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