When Doug Wright has a new play off-Broadway and it stars Hamish Linklater and John Noble, you just go. Posterity is being staged at Atlantic Theater’s mainstage right now and it’s a full two and a half hours, but it never drags.
About a time when struggling sculpture artist, Gustav Vigeland (Hamish Linklater) is commission by his agent to make what could be the final sculpture ever of playwright Henrik Ibsen. The conflict happens to be that Ibsen is in failing health and can only sit for ten minutes at a time before having to lay down and Vigeland isn’t a fan of Ibsen.
John Noble, a little known Australian treasure of art, absolutely kills it as Ibsen. He seriously blew me away. Hamish Linklater is fabulous as well, but I knew what to expect from him as he’s always great in whatever he does. The lovely Henry Stram plays Linklater’s agent adorably. And Mickey Theis and Dale Soules as Annfinn Beck and Greta Bergstrom (Linklater’s apprentice and maid respectively) give excellent performances as well.
Posterity is playing at the Atlantic Theater Company through April 5th. Between the excellent performances and strong script, it’s a good time at the theatre.
Last week my friend David invited me to see Our New Girl, Atlantic Theater Company’s newest play, with him. I’d read that it was a thriller and thought YES! Who doesn’t love a good dramatic thriller?
About a stressed out wife (Hazel) with one super-creepy son (Daniel) and another child on the way, her husband (Richard) who is always busy and away for work sends her an au pair (Annie) to help her out around the house. While you think, at first, that the play is about Hazel’s super creepy son that is thisclose to possibly stabbing her, it’s really much more about how much she hates being a mother. She was a person just doing what was expected of her and what’s expected of women after they get married is that they have children. Her character, portrayed by ATC ensemble member Mary McCann, won my empathy once I realized what was going on inside her head. While I think most people have a maternal instinct that kicks in after giving birth, I think there might be a bunch who that doesn’t happen for and I feel really awful for the people who find themselves trapped in that position.
McCann did a lovely job as Hazel, while Henry Kelemn scared all of us as her disturbed son Daniel. CJ Wilson (Bronx Bombers) commanded the tiny stage as the husband, Richard and Lisa Joyce (Annie) was endearing as the Irish nanny.
I think this is a relevant piece. One with a surprisingly hopeful ending.
A couple of Fridays ago I saw The Three Penny Opera at the Atlantic Theatre Company’s main space. If musical theatre perfection and beauty had a baby, it’d be Laura Osnes. She is flawless.
While I understood this production more than Roundabout’s staging of it years ago, I still didn’t really care for the show. The score is forgettable and Brecht is just not for me.
But Laura Osnes? She’s perfect.
Last Sunday I saw Sam Shepard’s newest play, Ages of the Moon, at the Atlantic Theater Company. I’ve been a huge fan of Mr. Shepard’s work since I was a freshmen in college and studied his play Buried Child in one of my classes (and I later studied it for a second time during my sophomore year). I’ve seen numerous works of his and met him once when our paths crossed ways at The Public Theatre in 2006 (needless to say, I was speechless).
One thing that’s pretty safe to assume when I go see a new (or a revival) play that he’s written, I’m certain I’ll have no idea what it’s about. Ages of the Moon was no exception to this rule. I know it sounds mind-boggling to like such a writer, but I do!
Ages of the Moon starred Stephen Rea and Sean McGinley, both of whom are extremely gifted actors and did not disappoint.
The show was best summarized by a Twitterer who Atlantic Theater Company re-tweeted recently: “Hilarious, brilliant! Aging, friendship, and loss crossed with wine, women, and song.”
Rea and McGinley were two long-time best friends, one of whom had just lost his wife, so the other comes to spend the night and long meandering conversations ensue. It’s ridiculous, thoughtful, funny, and, at times, sad. Like both of its stars, the script did not disappoint and Mr. Shepard has yet to either.
(photo via playbill)