Trigger Warning

I finally broke down and bought a ticket on TDF for Blackbird last week. I’d heard a lot of mixed things to downright “it’s just not worth it.” I knew Michelle Williams would be using her “serious stage lady” voice, but I would try to get past it because it was 85 minutes long and I love Jeff Daniels.

The basic premise of the show: a girl, now a woman, who, at 12, was sexually abused for 3 months by a neighbor who was 40, tracks down her abuser 15 years later, ready to make him uncomfortable at his office.

First: Williams’ Serious Stage Lady voice is annoying but I kind of felt like it worked. If you’d been abused as a child and then was still fucked up enough to go track that person down after he’s moved and changed his name, you’re probably very affected and there’s a chance there’s something strange in your voice.

The whole play just felt a little unnecessary. Daniels’ knew he’d done something horrible and now he was being tortured in person. I also seriously feel for Williams’ character, for sure, but I was really confused as to why she would want to go track her abuser down instead of moving forward with her life. But maybe I don’t understand what goes through someone’s mind who’s gone through that (spoiler alert: I definitely don’t).

The ending was contrived. I didn’t agree with that choice the playwright made. It was a quick 85 minutes and although it was the most uncomfortable I’ve ever felt in a theatre, I’m glad I saw it. Would I recommend it to anyone though? Hell no.

I was invited to the first preview of Love Letters last weekend starring Brian Dennehy and Mia Farrow. I knew nothing about it going in but it was 90 minutes, no intermission, and the stars are fantastic, so I was excited. Love Letters was originally off-Broadway and then on Broadway in 1989. It had a weekly rotating cast, which is going to be sort-of replicated on Broadway this time around too .

Love Letters is the most simple play you can imagine. Two actors sitting at table onstage reading letters back and forth to each other. Some are only a sentence, some are a page long. We journeyed with these two characters from the time that they were 8 years old and passing notes in class until they’ve both been married multiple times, with children, and careers, and problems. It’s funny, serious, sad, charming, and slightly depressing (towards the end).

This play was slightly reminiscent of the movie One Day, which follows two people throughout a number of years and much unrequited love. 

I walked out of Love Letters completely moved by these actors, the story they told through letters, and the uncomplicated way that it was presented. 

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