Photo by Don Kellogg

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Based on a Totally True Story

This really is ... Based on a Totally True Story.... it seems that the Playwright, Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, has written a play about his own life - a play in which his lead character writes a comic book and plays and gets his "big break" but all around him his life is falling apart....

Unusually conversational - the characters are actually telling you a story - more than ocassionally break the 4th wall to converse with you and explain what is going on (in real life) about this play which is unfolding in front of us. I'm once again reminded that my friend Dennis Larkin could probably explain all the theatrical tricks and gimicks that all probably have technical names to them (e.g. compression and other terms that elude me). What I was left with was a feeling of satisfaction and emotional connection with the characters.

The main character, Ethan Keene (Carson Elrod) and his boyfriend, Michael Sullivan (Pedro Pascal), are the center of the drama. The chemistry between them was palpable. I believed them. I enjoyed them. The Hollywood agent, MaryEllen (Kristine Nielsen), was supurb - truly an "over the top" Hollywood character! I enjoyed her. Ethan's dad was none other than Michael Tucker (you remember LA Law, right?). He was endearing. I enjoyed him.

The pace was quick. Dialogue - snappy - funny - in a word - enjoyable. The two hours really flew. A true-grit New Yorker or die-hard LA resident would surely appreciate the subtle references and the "oh how true it is" references.

I haven't seen a play this funny, this emotionally deep, and thoroughly enjoyable in a quite a while.

This one is, like all other MTC productions, is a limited run... and speaking of run - - you'd better get your sneakers on. This one is worth a sprint!