People are always asking what I have seen - so why not blog about it!
Friday I saw Sea Wall / A Life by Simon Stephens and Nick Payne at the Public Theatre starring Tom Sturridge and Jake Gyllenhaal. To say that this was one of those unexpected evenings at the theater is an understatement. (It is rare that I see a play without looking up something or knowing some details about what I am going to see - I knew only the stars and theatre.) When I sat in my seat at the Public and saw Tom already doing business on a sparsely lit and barely dressed stage, I knew I was in for something pretty special. The work that followed from those two actors is nothing short of genius. They each tell their personal stories of the mostly tragic events they have had to endure in their lives. While I have seen Tom on stage in starring roles, I had yet to see Jake in the same capacity on the stage and I dare to say that his monologue, albeit a 45 minute monologue, was the best thing I've ever seen that man deliver.
I have since read a couple of reviews, most of which remind you to bring with you boxes of tissues, but they all warn you that this is not for the faint of heart or the ideal location for a first date. If you're going to see some grounded, honest, uncensored telling of tragedy, this is exactly what you are looking for.
Switching gears now to the land of expected tragedy and loss as is the world of Shakespeare, I feel pretty honored to have gotten to witness the joy and talent that is the unmatched genius of Glenda Jackson. This 3 1/2 hour Shakespeare tale is a long one where women who play men rule the land until our bard does what he does best and kills the ones you love...
Glenda Jackson piloted the rest of the perfectly cast players - Ruth Wilson, Elizabeth Marvel, Jayne Houdyshell and Sean Carvajal (after his standout performance in Jesus Hopped the A Train) in a wildly specific Sam Gold landscape.
“The weight of this sad time we must obey, Speak what we feel, not what we ought to say. The oldest hath borne most: we that are young Shall never see so much, nor live so long.”
Bottom line: witness these spectacular performances, but dont take a date, instead make it your artist date.