1. I saw August: Osage County on Wednesday. I have to admit, I went in more than a little skeptical about the whole experience. There has been, of course, an extraordinary amount of hype around this show, and I tend to tune out when something is treated as if it were the best thing that ever happened (The Dark Knight being an exception to this rule; I was ludicrously amped about that flick, and remain amped after seeing it–expect a post about that soon). But my mom bought tickets, and off we went to a matinée. The opening monologue made me more than a little nervous; I had visions of spending the next three hours watching college professors quote TS Eliot at great length and verbosity. But the play progresses past that quickly, and it settles into, well, the kind of play I generally don’t remotely dig: the wildly dysfunctional but relatively not all that terribly bad-off family play. But I’ll be damned if it’s not a pretty damn good dysfunctional family play.
The acting in this piece is amazing, and this is the replacement cast I saw, meaning that the writing (and the direction) have to be pretty top-notch. The roles are meaty and kind of showy, and the one-liner/zingers that pepper the script are well-placed and paced, so they become more effective in context than out. I’m not going to say this was one of the best or even better shows I’ve ever seen, but it is a remarkably effective 3-plus hour dark comedy that earns its time in the theater. Which is saying a lot, I think.
And it was good to see Officer Prezbo in action too.
2. Billy Elliot is going to be a big hit on Broadway. I really don’t get it. I saw it in London. I was not impressed. More accurately, I was impressed with the little kids dancing, with the sheer athleticism of it all, the achievement of it all, but not much beyond that. But it’ll be a hit, we’re all sure of that, right?
3. The Equus posted is bizarre, and I’m not sure in a good way.
4. Definitely go see Animals Out of Paper at Second Stage. My boy Rajiv wrote it, and my boy Utkarsh is one of the stars. I did a little informal “hip-hop consulting” on it, and I wrote an article about it. Would I get this invested in a show if I didn’t like it? Unlikely.
5. My Nebraska partner in crime (he’s not from Nebraska; we just partner in crime there) Joe Salvatore has an upcoming Fringe show called III. I am bummed to be missing it, but you should be neither bummed nor missing it.
6. I am also likely to miss Hair. This makes me sad, although I might get a chance to see it after all.