Tuesday, April 25, 2017

"Temple" NO RATING

"Temple," by Steve Waters, is the fictionalized story of a real-life confrontation between Occupy protestors and London's St. Paul's Church, in 2011. These issues live on today, unsolved and waiting to happen again, as the Western world appears unable to stem the widening economic and cultural gulfs between haves and have-nots. Our positions have hardened, even though we all know where this eventually leads.

Yes, we wish they would all get off their knees, but our basic issue with "Temple" is not ideological, but theatrical. The characters do little but fret. We found ourselves disinterested in the Canon Cancellor (Mike Ryan), disappointed with the Dean (Paul Whitworth), angry at the City Lawyer (Leontyne Mbele-Mbong), exasperated at the P.A. (Sylvia Burboeck) and didn't much care about the Virger (Sharon Lockwood). We kept waiting for the man the author intended to be our hero to stand up and be counted. In real life, apparently he did. On stage -- not so much.

We have a real problem with the ending. If the moral of the story is that everyone should dress up and walk out to pray, "Temple" accomplishes it. And the innocent little choir boys...oh, please.


The San Francisco Theater Blog admits it has zero interest in churches or the way their Boards of Directors suffer or don't suffer. So it must recuse itself and give this show NO RATING. Talk and little action do not accomplish much, on stage or out in the real world.

Aurora Theater
2081 Addison Street, Berkeley
Through May 14

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