Photo by Don Kellogg

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

A Life in the Theatre

What a lovely tale told by two delightful actors -  one old, one young; one revered, one an admirer; one established, one ambitious; one leader, one follower - -  I think you get the idea.  One lesson we'll all take away from this poem to a life spent in on stage is that theatre - just like life - has its ups and it has its downs.

(Sir) Patrick Stewart plays Robert an aging actor and mentor who's spent his life on stage.  T.R. Knight (ok, i admit it - I'd marry him tomorrow he's so adorable!) plays John, a young actor working his way up, hungry to learn, innocent, yet perceptive and smart.

The play unfolds in a series of vignettes - on stage, backstage, after a show, and rehearsing for a show.  Some quick, some longer.  Some funny, some sad, yet others - just a slice of life.  I lost count after about 20 of them, but i soon realized it's not the number of them that mattered - just that from each and every one of them we learned something, laughed at something, or just felt that warm feeling inside that can only come from doing what one loves.  By the end of the show, we learn that while it's good to have a mentor and a hero, at some point we all need to evolve and grow.  As in life, just as our heroes are fading, we are sometimes lucky enough to learn we, ourselves, have become one to someone else.  Kudos to director Neil Pepe who so cleverly included the backstage crew so prominently on stage  - after all, what would the actors be without props, lighting and scenery anyway?

A good friend of mine always reminds me - Love what you do.  Do what you love.  David Mamet certainly remind us of that in this little gem on stage at the Shoenfeld Theatre running thru January.