Light blogging for a while as I am in NYC. Doesn't look like much is going on anyway (we're still bickering about torture?).
I caught August: Osage County on May 17, which happened to be the last performance by Estelle Parsons. The play is phenomenal, but….
Well, I hate to be one of those people who thinks the original cast of any production is the standard-bearer by which all future casts must compare (and inevitably, be found wanting). But in this case, it really is applicable. Steppenwolf workshopped the hell out of August and that's why the original cast was so tight.
Estelle Parsons is a phenomenal actor, but her pill-popping Violet Weston was almost — almost — a caricature, played for laughs. This was especially true during Act One when she was "high" — she looked a bad actor playing (well, over playing) a drunk. Fortunately, she bounced back in Acts Two and Three… but in the end, she was no Amy Morton.
On the other hand, she was probably no Phylicia Rashad, who replaces Parsons. (Yeah. Phylicia Rashad).
The rest of the cast was very good, especially John Cullum who has that wonderful opening monologue.
As for The Nebula of Georgia, the reason I'm here in the first place, we had our first NYC rehearsal at the Manhattan Repertory Theatre, which is on the third floor of a building occupied by winos.
Actually, the "theatre" isn't as small as I had imagined, but with no exit on stage left, we're having to reblock a lot. Tickets are selling well, except for our opening night (Wednesday).
Anyway, off to rehearsal and whatever….