We went to see Salvage Vanguard’s production of Mud last Thursday. We started out the night by heading out to spider house for a beer. Spider House has had a paint job and is a significantly nicer place to be. Our cashier wasn’t surly. May have been an anomaly, but may not…

We headed on over to the new Salvage Vanguard theater. I was a bit taken aback. I was expecting this:

But got this:

I can’t believe I was taken in by a PhotoShop job. I am so lame.

Anyway, there was no one in the house that night. Quite a change from the normal Salvage Vanguard show. The chairs were comfy and the show was off. Mud was – episodic. To the extreme. No scene seemed to last for more than about 3 minutes. And often the longer scenes were made up almost entirely of silence. I’m all for silence, but this was a bit much. The script was about several uneducated characters stuck in a dead end existence. As the character Mae (Jenny Larson) tries to better herself in life; first by shacking up with the most intelligent man in town (which isn’t saying much) and then by leaving entirely, she stirs up resentment, and eventually violence in the men around her.

I really didn’t care much about the characters. The play seemed to often be played for laughs which seemed at odds with the purpose of the play. Occasionally I’d get really into a character and then we’d have a scene change (accompanied by shifting lights and long sound effect), that would completely dampen my ability to relate. I started watching in the second act, and I think the play could have been done without all of these interruptions. I think it might have made for a stronger narrative, but perhaps it’s meant to be episodic to mark the passage of time.

In any case, it was well acted. You should go see it and support Salvage Vanguard in their new space. It’s going to be a really fantastic place to see theater.