March 24, 2008

Like a Cat...

I don’t get to express my drama geek side very often anymore. Even going to Naked Angels’ Tuesdays @ 9 doesn’t feel very theatery (except for the typical and predictable overacting that occurs there). But I was raised on Thornton Wilder and Edward Albee and, of course, Tennessee Williams.

I’d performed in scenes from Cat on a Hot Tin Roof in high school (as Maggie The Cat, of course, since I have a certain Liz Taylor quality about me) but I’d never seen a production of it, only having watched bits of the movie. So when I had the chance to see the groundbreaking new cast on Broadway starring Terrence Howard and James Earl Jones, I dug deep and paid my $100 for a ticket in the sixth row.

It felt like an event. The excitement in the air was palpable. It was Easter Sunday, and everyone was dressed in their Sunday Best. Finally, once again attending theater in New York City was a special occasion.

Maybe it’s because it was an audience that hasn’t had their minds fried by Clay Aiken in Spamalot or any number of cheesy C-list celebrities in Chicago. Instead of Marilu Henner (who I really have seen in Chicago), we got to see Oscar nominees and Tony winners in a play that uses real words like "mendacity" and "avarice" alongside "fuck" and "crap"! Sure, you have to suspend your disbelief pretty hard to enter a world where a black family runs a plantation in the south in the 1950s with black servants. But somehow, it works. Sometimes all it takes is good acting.

So what’s next for me? Maybe I’ll skip Young Frankenstein and see Albee direct Albee at the Cherry Lane Theatre.

Further reading:
A Black ’Cat,’ Catching An Elusive Audience - The New York Times

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