So my goal for the month of October is to do something every day that moves my playwriting forward. This can include going to see a show (as I did on the first and second of the month) or actually working on my plays (which I did last night).
So here are a couple of mini-reviews.
Short Eyes: This was a staged reading at the Public Theater. Pretty interesting play, though it sort of suffers being presented now that prison dramas like Oz have been somewhat mainstreamed (some of the actors in this reading were, in fact, Oz alumni). But I can see how it would have been shocking in its time. The acting was a little uneven; some of the actors were amazing, some appeared to be reading the script for the first time. But still, a well-spent evening.
The Bubble by Frank J. Avella at the New Cockpit Ensemble: I really liked it, but I don't think it will be everyone's cup of tea. The play is in three sections: first, a playwright (Joe Pistone) struggling to create a show and having to deal with his characters who don't really appreciate his efforts and are willing to let him know it; second, the same playwright, now in rehearsals of his show, constantly reworking everything to the actors' distraction and having to deal with his own personal drama; and finally, the play itself, where the playwright (or rather the character he wrote based on himself) deals with his life and his family. I think anyone who has struggled with the creative process will appreciate the play. And the plays within the play.
A clever show, good cast, a hot naked guy . . . all it needed was an audience. It was very poorly attended the day I saw it, and though the actors gave it their all, you can only do so much without feedback. Go see it. Hell, just for the cute naked guy if nothing else.
The Basic Training of Pavlo Hummell: Holy fuck, what a great show! This was another staged reading at the Public Theater of a Viet Nam War era play. It was amazing. The cast was strong (especially Chris Messina in the title role . . . you'll remember him as Ted, the lawyer who eventually married Claire on Six Feet Under), the direction (by Philip Seymour Hoffman) was well-done, the audience was into it, and the play itself was really riveting.
I had two celebrity sightings at the theater: Philip Seymour Hoffman, who brushed up against me as he went down to the stage to congratulate (I would assume) the actors, and Ben Curtis, most recently in Joy and formerly in Dell commercials, who sadly did not brush up against me at all.