Saw the very funny God of Carnage by Yasmina Reza (who I am insanely jealous of) with the dream cast of James Gandolfini, Marcia Gay Harden, Jeff Daniels and Hope Davis.
It opened back in March. Typically, a celebrity cast of this ilk would have bailed out by now because of other contractual commitments. But the four actors are having so much fun with their roles that they took August off and came back in September. It’s very unusual. They’re leaving for good in November so if you have half a mind to see it, you should do so before the new cast starts because who knows what’ll happen after that.
Marcia Gay Harden is the best. She transitioned nicely from quiet, caring Brooklyn liberal tree-hugger to raging lunatic. Gandolfini didn’t display a shred of Tony Soprano, which is a pretty neat trick considering that The Sopranos is steeped into my consciousness. There was a moment when he was yelling at Jeff Daniels and he poked his two fingers in Daniels’ direction. That simple gesture placed him firmly back in the New Jersey mob, but only for a split second.
[Note to Leah: This play is all about those annoying Park Slope yuppies and their nauseating perfect children. You and Sarge should see it.]
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Scarlett Johansson is the latest movie actor who’ll try to establish some stage credibility. (Can Gwyneth Paltrow be far behind?) This winter, Liev Schreiber (who I saw perform in a revival of Eric Bogosian’s Talk Radio and doesn’t need to prove anything to anyone) and the lovely Ms. Johansson (Women hate her. I can’t imagine why.) will revive Arthur Miller’s A View From the Bridge. I’ve seen that play and it’s pretty rough stuff. Liev is a longshoreman. Scarlett is his young niece. He likes her in that special way. Much trouble ensues because, as you know, it’s not polite to seduce your niece.