Theater preview: SLAC's world premiere of 'Grant & Twain' reveals 'unlikely and unbreakable' friendship

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  • pilcrow Orem, USA, UT
    Feb. 6, 2014 8:09 a.m.

    I had high hopes for "Grant & Twain", since hearing yesterday's conversation on Radio West. I am not easily bored; I read over 3,000 pages by Robert Cairo about Lyndon Johnson, a president and historical figure not nearly as fascinating as Grant, but Cairo infused every page of his masterpiece with ironic tension, superb character development, and completely masterful storytelling. Unfortunately, not just the production but the writing of "Grant & Twain" lacked any dramatic tension and made two of history's most compelling figures, U.S. Grant and Samuel Clemens bloodless, dry and almost totally without human poetry. I would not recommend to anyone that they waste their time, and especially their money, to see it. With theater ticket prices as high as they are and this play (and so many others that are so equally conventional, unimaginative, and lacking in interest -- but I recognize that is a topic for another polemic) so unrewarding, it is easy to see why the theater is truly dying. I wish this production, and especially these talented actors the best, but they really cannot rescue this script that is so ill-conceived, ill-written, and quite -- obviously -- well outside of the author's grasp.