Oscar E Moore

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THE LIFESPAN OF A FACT – David vs. Goliath equals inconsequential semantics

January 12th, 2019 by Oscar E Moore

On the eve of this limited run engagement’s closing at Studio 54 on January 13th, I offer this summation.

Fact:  It has been reported to have recouped its investment costs.  Eyeing London and a National tour.

Fact:  It starred three A List actors – Daniel Radcliffe, Cherry Jones and Bobby Cannavale.  Each excellent.

It opened on October 18th fleetingly directed by Leigh Silverman.  I felt it was somewhat entertaining albeit repetitive.  The fact that it seemed somewhat contrived did not seem to bother many who were hungry to see these three thespians chew up each other and the scenery by Mimi Lien.

Fact:  It took three writers to come up with the approximately 85 minute script:  Jeremy Kareken, David Murrell and Gordon Farrell.

I wondered if each took on a character and wrote specifically for that character as each character is quite one dimensional.  The tough editor Emily Penrose (Jones) who is the referee between the speed speaking ramrod straight fact checker Jim Fingal (Radcliffe aka David) and the difficult and arrogant author John D’Agata (Cannavale aka Goliath) of the article/essay in question that is in dire need of its embroidered and sometimes fanciful factual material being corrected before being published about the suicide of a 16 year old boy who jumped from the observation deck of a Las Vegas hotel casino.

No one cares much about the suicide just getting a slew of inconsequential facts corrected much to the dismay of the author.  Just the absolute correct facts ma’am just the absolute correct facts.

Fact:  This David vs. Goliath sit-com type script is based on a 2003 quasi journalistic article (essay) by D’Agata that was fact checked by Fingal that resulted in the tug of war result published in 2010 which in turn resulted in the 2012 book “What Happens There” by the real life D’Agata and Fingal.

But one should only be interested in what happens on the too large stage of Studio 54 for this intimate examination of “truth vs. fiction” – “credibility vs. creativity” – “article vs. essay.”  It goes by fast enough.

In reality THE LIFESPAN OF A FACT is an exercise in semantics.  Is it entertaining?  To an extent.  Is it fulfilling?  Not really with its ambiguous and pretentious fizzling-out of an ending.

BUT this not quite satiric production dealing with the gap between facts and individual style (poetic license) has reportedly made back its investment costs.  Ka-ching!

In the end it’s all about inconsequential semantics that has paid off royally.


Photo:  Peter Cunningham

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