Considering the high quality of the productions I'm used to seeing from SRT, Street Scene tonight was a serious disappointment. It's one of those plays with a little action punctuating a lot of dialog, and at first I thought that it was just too talky.
As I sat in the Burbank Auditorium at SRJC, I kept waiting for the show to take life, and it began to dawn on me that it never would. Not only was the play itself flat, but the cast seemed equally so, at least in tonight's performance. So many words, and they all were delivered with the same intonations and inflections.
Maybe the actors just weren't up to dealing with the variety of accents required to portray residents of a racially-mixed (and prejudice-ridden) New York neighborhood, but despite the variety in the character types, the characterizations were done (with only a few exceptions) in mind-numbing one-note fashion.
It pains me to criticize the young people who work so hard to make the short summer theater season a success. The other three plays I've attended have been uniformly excellent. I think in this one they played down to the material. Or maybe my expectations were just too high.