Tracy Letts loves to write and star in his own plays and until he can give us a reason why he shouldn’t be doing that, I’ll happily keep coming back for it. I had no idea what The Minutes was about when I bought tickets, but I knew Jessie Mueller was in and that Tracy Letts wrote it.
When I entered the theatre that night, I saw a room that looked as though it was set up for the city council meeting of a small town government and I wasn’t wrong.
The show is odd to say the least. It’s about a city council meeting in the town of Big Cherry. There’s a new board member, Mr. Peel (played by Armie Hammer, who you’ll recognize as the Winklevoss twins in The Social Network – yes, he played both of them), and he begins to question where the meeting notes are from the prior week’s meeting. Mayor Superba (Tracy Letts) says they’re not ready yet and brushes over his question. Austin Pendelton was hilarious as the absentminded and longest standing city council member appropriately named Mr. Oldfield and Sally Murphy made everyone laugh as the eccentric Ms. Matz. As tension built Ms. Johnson (played by Mueller) visibly grew more and more uneasy while taking down the minutes at the present meeting.
This show ends with a tribal dance and that’s all I’ll say about that. I’m still not sure what the meaning was of the ending but it was completely unexpected and very entertaining. I’m glad I got to see this show before Broadway shut down for who knows how long.
Well done, Mr. Letts.