Everyone here knows that Adam Rapp is one of my favorite playwrights. i’ve seen 99% of his work that’s been produced in the city since I saw Red Light Winter in 2006. I wasn’t sure I’d be able to make his reading/talkback/signing about The Hallway Trilogy at the Drama Book Shop today, but luckily we packed it in at a decent hour at work and I ran two blocks over.

He’s very visibly not entirely comfortable speaking in public, which is expected because he’s a playwright, not an actor. He looked down most of the time, avoiding eye contact. He read a short passage with the woman from the Theater Communication Group from The Hallway Trilogy, answered several questions about the genres he writes about, the characters he often writes, and a few questions about The Hallway Trilogy itself.

Then Nick Lawson and the actress whose name I can’t remember came up (there was actually a number of cast members from the off-Broadway production a few years ago in attendance) and read part of a scene from Paraffin (the second in the trilogy). Afterward he took more questions and I asked if he will ever write for Broadway, knowing that he’s turned down Broadway before because it’s not where his audience is. He said he’s turned down Broadway twice and since the New York Times is not a big fan of his, he doesn’t think there are any producers who’d take a chance on him anytime soon. (He jokingly said that he needs to wait for new critics to come to the Times.)

Afterward he signed copies of his plays so I bought a copy of The Hallway Trilogy (because it’s an awesome body of literature, duh), asked him a few questions about Red Light Winter on screen (he hopes they’ll start filming in January), shook his hand, and headed out. 

I’d been meaning to catch Roundabout’s The Unavoidable Disappearance of Tom Durnin by Steven Levenson for about a month now and being that this weekend was the final weekend, it had to happen. I was mostly drawn to this show because of Christopher Denham. Ever since I saw him in Red Light Winter in 2006, I’ve been a huge fan. David Morse and Rich Sommer were also part of this cast, which was pretty cool to see them onstage too.

Tom Durnin (Morse) is a former lawyer who has just been released from jail after a five year stay and now he’s staying on his son’s (Denham) couch while he tries to pick up his life from where he left off. His crime isn’t revealed until later on and it’s pretty clear that no one in his family wants anything to do with him. In the end, James (Denham) convinces him that he must disappear and start anew (hence the title).

David Morse was really intense and convincing (though admittedly my only reference for his work prior to today is his portrayal as the serial killer in Disturbia). Rich Sommers was good, but his role was probably the tiniest in the cast. 

Then there was Christopher Denham. I love him. I adore him. He is fantastic. He had issues that were revealed in perfect time through the text. He cried convincingly. I just loved watching his character unfold. 

Tom Durnin was a really interesting piece with a great cast (Lisa Emery and Sarah Goldberg rounded out the cast nicely in the two female roles). Unfortunately it closes on Sunday. If you saw it, let me know what you thought!