January 15, 2010

Redemption Averted

Back in college I took a summer acting intensive that took a trip to New York to see a handful of plays on Broadway and one of those shows was a revival of The Crucible. Laura Linney and Liam Neeson played the lead roles and let me tell you- there will never be another pairing like that again. They had complete command of the subject matter and they were connected to each other in a totally organic way. I don't know if I will ever experience that amazing of a show for decades- if ever again. The whole production was just sublime. So when we found out that there was a question and answer session after the show my fellow acting students and I hung around to see what would be discussed.

Like my last experience, people asked the dumbest questions. Someone asked the main antagonist if the cast disliked her because her character was so evil. Her answer was pretty priceless, "No. They know I'm acting." Most of the cast came out- including Laura Linney. I almost crapped myself. I thought for sure she wouldn't come out but she did!! And she PARTICIPATED!!! Her contribution? "Basically the lesson of this play is don't fuck the nanny." At that point I crapped myself. Not only is she a brilliant actor, she's dark and funny!

After the shitstorm that was the question/answer session ended my friends and I decided to try to get some autographs. I'm not big on autographs. I find them so silly. I'd rather a conversation or a drink. But why not? The cast was pretty cool. They hung around and happily spoke to people who were still there. I hung out in the back until Laura Linney came out. My friend Barbara spoke to her first. Totally cool and calm. Laura Linney and Barbara chatted briefly about how the play is such a wonderful piece of work and whatnot. When the conversation ended Laura Linney turned to me. I coolly handed her my program and told her I admire her and her body of work. We laughed at the idiots from the session and after she graciously signed all the other programs we had martinis at the bar across the street. It was a magical, magical evening.

Okay, that didn't happen. What really happened was she looked me in the eye with a sincere smile while I blurted, "I love everything that you do!!" Keep in mind I really hadn't seen her in much at all. I knew her from few projects. "You were AMAZING!!!" She continued to smile widely at me and said, "Thank you. Thank you so much." She signed my more couth friend's program and said one last thank you before she got into her car and drove off. She was wonderfully gracious to a total ass. I was madly in love with her.

A few months ago I signed up with Manhattan Theatre Club's 30 under 30 program where if you are under 30 you sign up for email alerts to get $30 tickets for preview dates of some performances. I got an email alert for Donald Margulies' Time Stands Still featuring eric Bogosian, Alicia Silverstone, Brian d'Arcy James and Laura Linney. I immediately sent it to Mike and said, "Let's go." I had no idea what the play was about and I couldn't care less. Neither did he. We didn't even bother to find out what the play was about before we went. Donald Margulies' work is solid and Laura Linney for $30? NO QUESTION.

Needless to say the play was wonderful. Just excellent. Everyone was pitch perfect and it was another fantastic theatre experience. I recommend it to anyone. We left the theatre and decided to hang around to see if Laura Linney came out to greet the few people who hung around. I decided I needed to tell her how wonderful I think her work is without being a total jack-ass. I needed to do it for myself- to redeem my blathering 20 year old self. Well? She never came out. I was bummed but totally okay with it because I would've just embarrassed myself again. I couldn't even tell the Brian d'Arcy James, who did come out, how wonderful I thought his work was. How was I going to react to Laura Linney? Probably by drooling. And that would be no good.

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