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Thursday, April 14, 2011

Beethoven Blech

Armin Wiebe's Mennonite humour play, "The Moonlight Sonata of Beethoven Blatz," was anything but humourous. I found the dialogue annoying before long and the characters began to wear on me. I get that Wiebe was trying to be authentic in his writing, but all of the Yoda- speak had me bothered and bored before long, to the point where I was tuning out.

I'm assuming this play was supposed to be a comedy, but I literally did not crack a smile once. During the out-of-place sex scene I raised my eyebrows for a moment, but other than that, I felt like Wiebe was simply trying too hard. It was not a play for non-Mennonites, and not a play for Mennonites, but seemingly a play that over-exaggerated its Mennonite nature to the point where it felt gimmicky.

The story was also fairly cliche, with a few twists, but nothing jarring or worth paying attention to. It was all a big misunderstanding, but I didn't find myself really into the story at all or caring about the outcome and what it meant to each character. It was predictable and trite.

As for what to say about the talk-back after show, or Armin Wiebe's seminar that was delivered, there really isn't much. Wiebe seemed nigh-reluctant to talk to the audience after the show, which was mainly CreComms, and I'm not certain if he was doing that just for CreComms or after every show, but he didn't seem to particularly enjoy it or understand many of the questions. I suppose if better questions were asked, he'd have spoken better.

Wiebe didn't seem to have thought much about the process by which his play was created. He seemed to be taken aback by almost every question that was asked, both at the talk-back and during the seminar. The talk-back was an enormous waste of time, and the seminar was almost as awkward with much reiterated from two nights prior. Wiebe seemed ill-prepared and unready to answer questions despite apparently going through a few interviews.

All in all, the play was too long, and though well-acted, it was annoying, predictable, and lame. Each actor was simply too good at playing a crappy character, so while I could appreciate the acting, I hated the characters.


  1. oh SNAP! I agree with just about all that actually, especially the parts about Mr. Wiebe in person. Someone must have twisted his arm to come out here and visit us...

  2. Good call, he seemed like his wife just wanted him out of the house for an afternoon...