L. had wanted to go see a theater piece ever since our arrival in Boston. I had seen Stoppard's play while he was out of town. Finally last week we decided we would see something together, even though the listings were not too enticing. We put off buying tickets.
Wednesday morning I read an article in the Boston Globe about the playwright Stephen Belber, which noted that he had co-written and acted in The Laramie Project. My interest in the playwright was peaked. I have never seen The Laramie Project, but intend to do so. But that work was on my mind because of a story in the news about a production of that play last week in Kansas that faced the threat of protesters who see the play as "pro-gay." Imagine that. The horror. The real horror is that the protesters claim they act in the name of Christ. I digress.
I also learned that the play was a world debut. That did it. Thursday morning we bought the tickets online to see Carol Mulroney that same night.
We were almost late, but thanks to a speedy Greek, who showed me what it means to DRIVE in Boston, we were just in time.
I won’t give away too much about the play. Here is an official blurb:
The allure of the simple life often finds its way into the souls of complicated characters. But matrimonial love and home-grown potatoes are not enough to overcome the demons that haunt Carol Mulroney. Sitting on the roof, overlooking the beauty of the city from a distance, she contemplates her tempestuous past with her father and her uncertain future with her husband in this compelling world premiere drama.
The whole play takes place on the roofs of New York, a fresh idea that Belber claims he developed as he stood onstage during a long scene in The Laramie Project that required the actors to stand still and avoid the fidgets. Most of us would have let our minds turn to mush while we waited for our stage exit. He wrote a play inside his head.
The language, his diction, is natural and unaffected. After Stoppard, your cerebral pleasure zone tingles. After Belber, you know that you are human.
When we left the theater, the temperature had dropped and we were freezing in the wind. Hot drinks were necessary. Actually we stopped in a nearby café/bistro and had red wine—for our health—and pumpkin cheesecake (for me) and a chocolate-raspberry concoction (for him). Naturally we shared. Tannins and fat do effectively raise one’s internal heat.
by Stephen Belber
Directed by Lisa Peterson
Virginia Wimberly Theatre
October 14 - November 20, 2005