Thursday, March 26, 2015

Constellations


A few weeks ago my mom took me to see Constellations on Broadway. We started the night at Joe Allen with lobster rolls and wine. Then we made our way to the theater for some delicious Jake Gyllenhaal viewing. Gyllenhaal was looking especially beardy and handsome. He also adopted a British accent for the play which was convincing and crazy attractive. His acting? Fantastic. What blew me away, though, was Ruth Wilson's performance. She was spectacular. 

Constellations stars just the two actors: Gyllenhaal and Wilson. There is no intermission. The two performers are on stage for the duration of the dialogue-heavy play. In a word? It's impressive. Both actors show a wide range and make the subject matter, albeit depressing, spring to life. The show's storyline is sad; it deals with relationship issues, disease and more. But the acting is phenomenal.

The one downside, besides the deflating subject matter, is the audience. Of course, the audience isn't always an issue. But it was at this performance. I was seated next to two chic-looking middle-aged women. The one directly beside me kept whispering to her friend, "Aren't they amazing?!", "OMG, did that just happen?" and so on. Chatty Cathy nearly ruined my play-going experience. I would start to get lost in the story, but then I'd abruptly be yanked back into the disappointing reality that my sixty-something year old neighbor needed incessant attention.

Everyone in the theater is so (rightfully) concerned about cell phones going off during performances. I think there should also be warnings about audience commentators. How can viewers get lost in a performance when some rude theater-goers are creating disturbances? Fortunately, Gyllenhaal and Wilson are such talented storytellers that they made the great lasting impression of my evening. Chatty Cathy is fading into the distance, and even Gyllenhaal's dreamy accent is no longer on the top of my mind. 

A

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