Photo by Don Kellogg

Friday, April 14, 2006

Show People

Picture this - Tom (Ty Burrell) apparently has a lot of money - a huge house in Montauk (awesome set), a Mercedes in the driveway, and a successful computer company - so think what you may... He hires two washed up Broadway actors to play "his parents". You soon find out it's to impress his girlfriend to whom he is going to propose this weekend. He's trying for the "perfect family" look this weekend. Sounds harmless - right?

After all the characters meet and he's briefly out of the room - The fiancee blurts out that she can't go on lying to such sweet parents - - he's gay and she's been hired to play his girlfriend for his parent's visit this weekend. Seems harmless right?

But wait a minute - They quickly realize they are all actors. What do they all do with this information? They all know... But he doesn't know they know. Why are they here? What kind of creepy guy is he? What crazy plan does he have for them all?

Well - we eventually find out at the (very) end of Act 2 - and let me tell you it was the stupidest ending I could have imagined! All that time invested (with these pretty fine actors) and all for this?? I enjoyed the eternally caustic Marnie (Debra Monk) and her ever dramatic husband Jerry (Larry Pressman). The "fiance", Natalie (Judy Greer), aptly rounds out the comic trio. Debra Monk really made the show worth the price. All things considered - she's a gem! I really thought Tom yelled too much and seemed like too much of a psycho - even though I guess he was supposed to be playing one - I just didn't enjoy his demeanor.

This play, written by Paul Weitz, went to a place a bit too dark for this audience, I must say. How far will people go for the "performance of a lifetime"? What is "pure acting" and a "great performance"?.

Well - I found out and let me tell you - Funny, Funny, Funny, yet Stupid, Stupid, Stupid!