Monday, April 20, 2009

Expect the unexpected

When I rebooked all my hotels on the fly last week, I didn't realize that I would have the opportunity to go to see a play at the Geffen Playhouse out by UCLA, a lovely two-stage theater with a beautiful tiny courtyard in front. I was serendipitously walking past at an hour to showtime tonight and ended up postponing dinner to watch The Seafarer, a play that I missed at Steppenwolf, starring John Mahoney (Frasier's dad). Excellent acting, though some of the accents, including Mahoney's, drifted in and out of Irishness. And the play is either slow in itself or the direction was; I couldn't quite decide. A bunch of drunk drifters, one henpecked, one blind, one perenially unfortunate, in north Dublin are... being unhappy, for quite a while, till yet another one brings home an urbane outsider who turns out to be the devil, come to play for Sharky's soul as agreed in a prison card game. Who knew? Hard realism meets wild Miltonesque drama, urban misery meets nihilistic, po-mo misery. It had some real moments, but there was at least one moment when I thought, "Oh lord, get on with it!" So a mixed bag, but I'm glad I got to do it.

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