Monday, December 18, 2006
Preview of "Shipwreck, Coast of Utopia.''
The first half was quite boring and too expository. Too much blah-blah-blah. The second half was outstanding. I think Brian O'Byrne is a marvelous actor. He carries the entire thing as far as I'm concerned, especially near the end when he delivers a wrenching speech about the death of a child. Ethan Hawke did very well, too -- portraying a gruff, boisterous scalawag (forgive me, Russian history buffs; I can't remember which scalawag), and I thought he was very engaging, although my wife thought he was doing a Jack Nicholson imitation up there. This one has gunshots, betrayal, nudity, flag-waving, you name it. In case you haven't heard about the plotline, the play (by the great Tom Stoppard) is a prequel to the Russian Revolution; you get to know the six friends who helped set the thing in motion. Or something like that. I liked the second half because politics, romance and friendship get conflated in ugly and unpredictable ways. In case you are wondering (both of my readers) how a grad student can afford to go to Broadway so much, the answer is: I wait out in front of the theater and wait for desperate theater goers to sell me their extra seats for dirt cheap.