I saw Bright Half Life at MTC’s black box theatre last Friday and although the two women in it (Rebecca henderson and Rachael Holmes) were very good, I left scratching my head asking why I bothered spending 70 minutes in that theatre.
Bright Half Life was exactly the same thing at Constellations but with a lesbian couple instead of a heterosexual couple.
I have no idea how this got produced. At all. If you want more insight into what it was about, read my Constellations comments but basically it was watching a relationship from beginning to end and lots of jumps in time.
I still have no idea how this and Constellations got produced during the same season.
Before the performance of Constellations that I attended, I was sitting in the front row of the mezzanine with one of my friends. We were watching Jake Gyllenhaal and Ruth Wilson were onstage warming up. Gyllenhaal kept up his British accent the entire time. A few minutes after we sat down, he looked up, straight at me, shielded his eyes and said, “There are new people up there! Who are you guys?” and I responded, telling him who we were, saying hi, and he responded, “Hi there! Welcome to warm ups!!"
He seems like a cool dude, I’m just saying.
Also: He studied Buddhism at Columbia in 1998. Doubly cool.
I was asked to captain a survey team for The Broadway League on Saturday for the matinee of Manhattan Theatre Club’s “Constellations.” It received raves from the New York Times and has pretty much been sold out since previews. We were told over and over that we probably wouldn’t be able to watch the performance since they are always sold out, but it was cold out and there had to be subscribers that would refuse to walk out into the cold, right? Right. I’ve never seen a show with not a single seat empty – there’s always something.
Starring Jake Gyllenhaal and Ruth Wilson, this show straight from the National Theatre of Scotland couldn’t have come at a more perfect time. With the semi-recent release of Interstellar, this show is very related. Ruth Wilson plays Marianne, a cosmologist, and Jake Gyllenhaal is Roland, a bee keeper. One of their first conversations they have is about her work in which she says there are many parallel universes all existing at the same time and every choice we could make, we do make, but in separate universes.
Well, in Constellations, there are 8 universes and we see all of them. You could say it’s like If/Then but without music and more artistic. More subtle. More beautiful (no offense to If/Then). The set is simplistic – a slightly raised dark blue platform (which has honey combs outlined on it) with dozens of white balloons hanging from the ceiling. Wilson and Gyllenhaal were both magnificent. They’re both amazing actors.
If you can scrounge up a ticket to Constellations, consider yourself lucky.
Jake Gyllenhaal and Ruth Wilson doing a talkback after this afternoons matinee of Constellations.
They have such good chemistry even when they’re just bantering about nothing. At the talkback after, Gyllenhaal said that Wilson forgot one of their three kisses in the show one night and she said, “He’s just not a very good kisser!” and later asked who would like to give him lessons. HAH. I almost raised my hand.
When someone asked about the balloons hanging from the ceiling, Gyllenhaal simply said, “They’re sperm. That’s it,” dry as anything and moved onto the next question as we all laughed.
It was a really entertaining and interesting talkback.