Intimate Apparel Synopsis
The character I really tried to focus on while watching Intimate Apparel was George, the man from Panama. I thought he was the best actor on the stage that night, but that’s not saying too much. For the first half of the play, the actor performed a monologue with the spotlight solely on him. After the break, the actor participated in scene work with multiple characters. George in the storyline is a man who works a very physically demanding job digging canals in Panama.
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He one day decides to write a letter to Ester, the unmarried woman who works with fabrics, and he immediately takes a liking to her. They exchange letters for about six months and then it happens- George sends her a letter proclaiming his love and asks Ester to be his wife. She replies and says she would love to; he comes a few weeks later for the wedding. Off the bat when they met, it seems to be a little awkward; they had never met and barely knew each other. Over time, they got closer due to their proximity but emotionally they grew distant.
George doesn’t seem to be the romantic that Ester had originally talked to. Also, she finds out that he has been cheating on her. He ends up taking her money and leaving Ester. There were a lot of good things that the actor did throughout the course of the play that I have been taught to do as well. He knew his lines for the most part, his inflection changed at appropriate times, and he used a lot of good hand motions and other gestures. Also, in the first half of the play (before the intermission), the actor played a roll in which he was very romantic and sweet.
When he recited the letters, he was able to come across as a very well together and in love man. I genuinely thought he was being sincere and true to Ester. Later in the play, George became very distant and withdrawn. He became a cheating man without morals, who was selfish and inconsiderate. The actor was able to portray two different extremes in the same play, and he did a pretty good job making the transition. I think this would be hard to accomplish, but he was effectively able to do so. Another effective part in the play was the anger the man who played George was able to show.
At the scene in the bedroom talking to Ester, he stomped around, making a certain amount of noise without drowning out his own vocals. Throughout the journey of the theater performance, he made a lot of hand gestures and facial expressions that showed me how he felt; he let me feel his emotions. With that said, George didn’t have a flawless performance. For the most part, I thought it was poor acting; but he did well relatively speaking as I addressed above. With that said, it was hard to understand him half the time. At certain parts it seems he wasn’t exactly sure of his lines.
He stuttered at parts that didn’t call for stuttering; it wasn’t apart of the script. That just comes down to memorization. Additionally, the actor lost the role at one point, letting out a smirk mid-scene. That smile kind of threw the audience; actors must be in character at all times. Physically, the actor made the audience believe he was a physically worn man. From the clothes he wore to his whole demeanor. His facial expressions showed exhaustion; while speaking from Panama, his voice was strong but tiresome and showed uncertainty. When he came to the contiguous United States, his physical appearance changed.
Although he was not in Panama any longer, his true roots came out in the way he spoke and the heavy accent he placed on his words. George became better dressed and modernized; this led to an emotional change as well. Emotionally speaking, in the beginning of the play George was such a smooth talker; he was a sweetheart who was very persuasive and manipulative. The inflection George had in his voice was very sincere. He showed his charm and passion through the words in his letters (even though they turned out to not be his own words). Regardless, he made Ester fall in love with him and want to see him.
He seemed genuine. In person though, he wasn’t so loving. George showed his heartlessness and rudeness in his cheating and dialect towards Ester. He showed anger by the way he stomped about the bedroom and stormed out of rooms. He showed his impatience by the way he knocked at the door, so hard and so loud. There were subtle things that could’ve been done better, but the emotion was attempting to be displayed. Intellectually the actor had a few different motives. The first half of the play the audience thought George was all about love and being Ester’s husband.
After the intermission, his true colors came out and he became a money hungry hustler. Throughout the play, the character George had many different emotions and types of person he had to show. The actor did a pretty decent job with his faces and body language that he performed. I thought overall, he did an okay job and the play was interesting. I enjoyed watching the storyline play out, though the acting could’ve been much better. It seemed as though the performers were not prepared to act in front of an actual audience. With that said, I look forward to seeing other productions in the future.