Dead Poets Society by N.H. KleinbaumTodd Anderson and his friends at Welton Academy can hardly believe how different life is since their new English professor, the flamboyant John Keating, has challenged them to make your lives extraordinary! Inspired by Keating, the boys resurrect the Dead Poets Society--a secret club where, free from the constraints and expectations of school and parents, they let their passions run wild. As Keating turns the boys on to the great words of Byron, Shelley, and Keats, they discover not only the beauty of language, but the importance of making each moment count.But the Dead Poets pledges soon realize that their newfound freedom can have tragic consequences. Can the club and the individuality it inspires survive the pressure from authorities determined to destroy their dreams?
Dead Poets Society review – superb Jason Sudeikis can't save ill-advised relaunch
Though he has no prior professional theater credits, Jason Sudeikis holds the stage with confidence and verve as the inspiring prep-school teacher John Keating in the adaptation of Dead Poets Society that opens tonight at Classic Stage Company. But, oh, those blanks! You no doubt remember how Keating, a newly hired firebrand at Welton Academy, shakes up the boys in Honors English with romantic poetry, unconventional assignments, and invocations to seize the day. But you may not remember how vaporous all of this is, and — even for , when the story is set — how middlebrow. One of those straw men is, of course, the strict headmaster, Paul Nolan, who likes poetry taught as if it were science and rebels lashed on their pert bottoms. Oh, you read that right. Schulman has said that the story is somewhat autobiographical; I am so sorry.
John Keating Mr. At first, each of the boys, all juniors, moves in a way typical of his central-casting personality timidly, jauntily, rigidly, exhibitionistically, etc. But soon they all fall into rhythmic lock step. Keating, who has taken a front-row seat among the audience, begins clapping along in time, and encourages us to do so as well. Since this is a New York theater audience, a notoriously clap-happy breed, everybody obliges. But no sooner have we all been infected by the contagious cadences of those exuberantly marching students than Mr. Keating instructs us to cease and desist.
I t has been 27 years since Dead Poets Society taught youngsters to stand on their desks and declaim a line or two of Whitman. Its barbaric yawp has now returned in the Classic Stage version, adapted by the screenwriter Tom Schulman and directed by John Doyle. Jason Sudeikis takes on the role of the captivating English teacher John Keating, a part made famous by Robin Williams. Sudeikis is superb — earnest and impish — but in the intervening decades, the substance of the piece now seems cheaply sentimental at best and morally suspect at worst. The story is a something like the Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, but with less sex and fascism. In , at an elite New England boarding school, six callow young men fall under the sway of Keating, a pedagogue less concerned with teaching them to tell a sonnet with a sestina and more concerned with how to live.
I found the movie about prep-school boys and their unorthodox teacher pretty clunky. No one ever accused Bennett of ripping off Schulman, but now it looks like maybe he did. Both vehicles are something of a fraud. Schulman and Bennett are selling the same benign, easily digested concept of individuality. It brought back those endless hours in school, watching the clock to see when the play, I mean, the class would end. Also, if a person were truly adventurous and risk-taking, why would he graduate from school only to go back to school to be a teacher? His idea of teaching English literature is to have his students stand on their desks to get a different perspective of the world.