May 16, 2010

Buffalo Gallery reviewed

'Buffalo' has no wings, but plenty of spice

Studi:  As Bearpaw, his womanizing ways have been getting in the way of his artwork.

By James D. Watt Jr.
"Buffalo Gallery" is a play with much to say, yet very little to tell.

Julie Little Thunder's comedy--originally written in 1991 and revised for this production by Thunder Road Theatre--is set in a Santa Fe, N.M., gallery during the 1980s.

This gives Little Thunder ample opportunity to stud her script with a number of pithy zingers about the world of American Indian art: the competitive nature of the artists themselves; the sometimes benign, sometimes rapacious manipulations of gallery owners; the cluelessness of some collectors; the debate over who can claim to be an "Indian artist."

These wisecracks are usually very funny and at times stingingly accurate. The problem is they are often delivered in a kind of vacuum, because Little Thunder hasn't taken the same care in crafting her characters or their relationships as she has in honing her humor.
Comment:  For more on the subject, see Studi Back Where He Started and Wes Studi in Buffalo Gallery.

No comments: