“A Walk in the Woods” was definitely one of the more serious shows I’ve gone to see but it was also a sort of comedy. It’s based on an arms treaty proposal that was made between Russia and the United States in the 1980s and the relationship the two negotiators developed while working together, and it’s called a walk in the woods because they go into the woods in Switzerland to negotiate. The Russian negotiator Andrey Botvinnik often takes his negotiations into the woods in order to make it more casual and not across the table and solemn. The American, John Honeyman, is quite opposed to this at the beginning and Andrey doesn’t really ease him in seeing as he talks about casual things as if they are friends. Throughout the show he tries very hard to get John to open up to him and be his friend and John is very opposed, says they should stick to business.
Out of the two Andrey was definitely my favorite, he was funny and sarcastic and frankly John is kind of rude to him. Even if they are supposed to be diplomats who oppose each other, they’re already in the woods, no one’s around so whats the point of being so stern. Each scene is a different part of the year with them meeting in the woods and speaking of different parts of the proposal and you can see little by little John becoming more comfortable with Andrey. I think with this show theme is an important thing because the plot is about something that really happened, both of the negotiators are getting old and in their old age they are losing things of themselves that they love. Andrey realizes this when he tries to catch a rabbit like he did when he was younger, for the rest of that scene he’s defeated and talks about how he’s done this job for so long and it’s getting harder to keep it. Later in the show John gets in an argument with a police officer because he refused to pick up a gum wrapper, he ends up pushing the man and yelling at him and everyone around condescendingly that he’s a diplomat. He doesn’t understand why he became that way but Andrey knows.
By the end of the show they’ve come up with their own compromise to propose to both of their superiors, they both are very pleased with it. Since this is a situation that happened in real life it’s not exactly spoiling if I say that it was turned down by both sides, they didn’t like it. I appreciated this show a lot even if the theater was filled with only old people and it was about real life problems like the fact that a lot of countries have the nuclear power to obliterate everything. It was also funny and had very good characters in it, but in terms of setting was simple and it worked very well. This weekend I’m going to see Fun Home at the Ahmason Theater in LA, I’m really excited for it! Next week I’ll post about Mr. Burns at UCSB, which was also amazing. Make sure to check it out!