26 January 2007

Late Breaking, to Me

Apparently I was supposed to have read this this morning in the Times, but Primary Stages have got their shit incredibly together, and announced their season today. Most of it is the usual slightly stodgy fare, and Horton Foote:Primary Stages::Neil LaBute:MCC::realism on very pretty sets:downstairs at Playwrights' Horizons, but one show has me very excited (which, with my track record, means it'll get pulled from the season): Opus, by Michael Hollinger.

I read this play a couple of years ago (and there's how to make myself feel very old and worldly), and really loved it. The blurb says that "a world-renowned string quartet that struggles to prepare for their highest-profile performance when the violist, and founder of the quartet, mysteriously disappears," which isn't exactly the drama I remember - one member of the quartet quit, and he was replaced by this chick, whom, of course, another of the quarter members fell in love with. It's a little soap opera-y, but the writing and characters were so good that it worked, and I'm very excited to get to see it on stage. For all that I think of Primary Stages as your old-lady aunt of off Broadway, I have to remember that the one thing I've actually seen there was String of Pearls, which looked to be an Oprah-worthy sketch of all these women all connected by a pearl necklace that they all, at some point, owned, but the thing opens with a 60-year-old woman talking about how special and beautiful she felt when her husband gave her a pearl necklace, and she wasn't talking about jewelry (dirty content in that link, but no images). That was a brilliant moment of theatre right there.

I also have to say that almost nothing makes me as uninterested in a play as a blurb that begins with calling it a "human comedy about a family that must confront its past as it prepares for its future," and that very little might save said blurb from disaster as much as saying that said family prepares for said future "with foxy cunning, fascination and hypocritical virtue," as does the copy for the Horton Foote play, Dividing the Estate, which also will feature 13 characters, who hopefully will be played by 13 actors, who hopefully will all be able to fit onto the Primary Stages stage.

1 comment:

Malachy Walsh said...

I know it's not cool to say it, but I've never been cool so I'll just say it: I love Horton Foote. And I love that New York theatres still do his work and that he's got an artistic home.

He's a better writer at his age than any downtown writer at any age.

To Kill A Mockingbird.

Tender Mercies.

He makes us all look like bums.