|HARVEY MILK IN THE EARLY DAYS. COURTESY PHOTO|
Playwright Patricia Loughrey conducted many interviews. Is this a play- or is it just a documentary? We all know about Harvey Milk and his achievements for the Gay community. After all—Milk did wakeup the enormous gap in the political world.
There have been many plays about Harvey Milk over the years. There was an extremely engrossing play (at Fort Mason) about his murder at City Hall. I’m sure that you all know about Dan White who lost his position at City Hall and how he shot Milk and Mayor George Moscone.
What we see on the NCTC stage is too dry. There is not great impact, although the actors did what they could. There are many tributes to Milk in the City - we all miss him, and it is very easy to find books and plays about Milk and his achievements. And of course there was the successful movie.
On the stage the actors talk “AT” the patrons in the Theater. This kind of presentation is nothing more than looking at a Chess game (it’s your move). Each person on the stage pops up with something to say – rarely do they talk to each other. I’m sorry to say – this is not a play – it’s a dreary documentary.
I’m sure that Patricia Loughrey has tried to make this an exciting evening of Theatre – but that just didn’t happen. Yes, Harvey had a vision of what Supervisors should do. And he was extremely good at getting what he wanted. However, hearing other people (who are younger) talk about those days just doesn’t have “true heart and passion’. It’s the excellent cast that carries the story through. They put everything into it. Here they are: Tierra Allen, David Bicha, Brian Patterson, Anna Smith, Courtney Walsh and Aaron Wimmer.
Directed by F. Allen Sawyer. Music by, Thomas Hodges. Playing thru Feb. 24 at The New Conservatory Theatre on Van Ness/Market.
(((Lee Hartgrave has contributed many articles to the San Francisco Chronicle Sunday Datebook and he produced and hosted a long running Arts Segment on PBS KQED)))