CB and I saw Theresa Rebeck’s very funny The Understudy at the Roundabout Theater. It’s a three-hander starring Julie White, a comedic actor who’s a pretty big deal in the theater community, and Justin Kirk, who stars with my pretend girlfriend, Mary-Louise Parker, in Showtime’s Weeds.
It’s the final week for this play, which opened in early November. I actually saw it back in October when it was still in previews but it was so good, and I had such a nice time, that I felt it was worth a second look.
Their performances were just as fresh as the first time. It amazes me how actors are able to do the same material night after night, month after month, and can still make the dialog seem spontaneous instead of scripted. The audience laughed just as hard the second time I saw it as they did the first. That can’t be accomplished with the script alone. It’s all in the delivery. The final fade-out was surprisingly touching.
This is my first play of 2010. I managed to see 29 plays in 2009 (yes, I keep a list) which is about 29 plays too many for most people. I get that. The theater has limited appeal but it got under my skin years ago when I moved to New York and I still find it to be an interesting night out.
We recently bought the soundtrack to the Broadway musical Wicked for 8-Year Old Daughter. It’s one of the most shrill, ear-piercing, annoying soundtracks I’ve ever had to suffer through. Each song comes to a deafening crescendo by one of the two leads. Mrs. Wife and I saw Wicked when it first opened and enjoyed it, but the soundtrack is proof positive that, unlike The Understudy, not everything on stage needs to be, or should be, revisited.