I so love @rjacksonnyc ‘s very personal connection to this heartfelt and historic piece of theater. His words: “I am imagining the 17 year old kid that comes to see #torchsongbway and, like I did in 1982, gets to look into a keyhole and see a life that could be possible for them.” Be sure to catch #torchsongbway - previews begin October 9th!!!
Straight White Men by Young Jean Lee 2NDSTAGE – The Helen Hayes Theater / directed by Anna D. Shapiro Seen on July 20, 2018 ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ 👏🏻 Though all the actors had their golden moments, Josh Charles was the one with the greatest command over and consistency in his character. Todd Rosenthal’s thoughtful scenic design and Donald Holder’s elegant lighting contributed much to the metatheatrical world that the production was particularly striving after. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, Young Jean Lee’s play is already very tight and smart, and getting to see it in performance was a pleasure in and of itself. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ 👎🏻 This was by no means a flawless production, as much as I wanted it to be. None of the actors did true justice to the nuances of their characters, and at their worst they were indistinguishable from sitcom players aiming (and waiting) for a laugh track. This is not to say that they were always like this, as they were each quite powerful at certain instances. Paul Schneider’s performance especially lacked the edge that his character demands (and depends upon)—an edge of passivity and indifference, but an edge nonetheless. Perhaps because he was thrust into this production at the last minute, Stephen Payne seemed weirdly mechanical and “out of it.” And though he was often impressive, Armie Hammer, too, fell into a disappointing flatness from time to time. I believe much of this can be traced back to considerable blindspots in Shapiro’s directing. My greatest problem with this production, however, has to do with the changes made to the nature and function of what was formerly the Stagehands-in-Charge. The revised opening remarks by the two People in Charge explicitly veered in the direction of a lecture in social awareness and respect, and got into too many personal details for no substantive reason. In the original text, their presence is significant (and needed) precisely because