Sunday, November 20, 2011
Jesse Eisenberg (you all know him - he's that Facebook guy... er... well... the guy who played the Facebook guy in that movie about Facebook) wrote a play (he's written several) and it's being presented by Rattlestick Playwrights Theater at the Cherry Lane Theatre. Mr. Eisenberg, not being a shy actor, also stars in the play. I'm going to divide this review up into two parts: Acting and Construction.
Construction: I believe Mr. Eisenberg wrote this play before he became famous for his role in the blockbuster hit, The Social Network. That would mean he wrote this play in his early 20's. That's young. Even for someone as smart, insightful, and as wickedly talented as Mr. Eisenberg. Clearly he has an ear for sharp dialogue, an eye for physical comedy, and a nose for sniffing out a joke in just about any situation. What hit me about this work is that it tried to cover too much ground. African nationalism, McDonalds, dumb Americans , drugs, liberalism, the sex-slave trade and mail order bride trade in Southeast Asia... and the list goes on. An exploration of any one of these topics could consume a good 90 minutes each and we only had about 120 for the entire bundle. To further complicate matters - we opened up all these doors in Act I and had very little time to resolve most of them in Act II. Frankly, I was altogether disappointed in the actual reason as to the presence of Asuncion. It was a weak and frankly came so late that no time could be spent even trying to repair it.
Mr. Eisenberg certainly has a burgeoning writing career ahead of him. And even if that has a few ups and downs along the way, his acting chops and endearingly handsome looks and affable awkwardness will certainly carry him along. I'm sure we'll see and hear more of this rising star very soon. For now, if you can get a reasonably priced ticket - head down to the Cherry Lane Theater on Commerce Street in the always-cozy West Village and take in a performance of Asuncion before Mr. Eisenberg gets too famous inventing some new social networking tool... oh wait... that's not him!