Things We Want
It's a wonderfully written play. The writing is really great. The set was awesome. And overall, this is definitely a production worth seeing if you're in NYC.
However, I have to say, as my stickler actor-self, I was a bit disappointed and surprised at the lack of attention to detail played by the actors. Alcohol is a big part of the show and it's no small task playing drunk or tipsy. But it's certainly not impossible to play it accurately or well.
When I was still studying acting at the studio, I remember working on physical impediments for months. Whether it was a sprained ankle, a cold, a migraine, blindness, three drinks, completely sauced, a few bumps of coke, a few lines of coke, or high as a kite from smoking a few hits of weed....these are all very specific physical states and requires a certain specificity in order to play convincingly.
After discussing this issue at length with my husband on the ride home, I realized that it's literally been years since I've attended a staged production of a play that blew my socks off. I guess I am tough to please, but seriously, the last time I was blown away was after seeing A View From the Bridge directed by Michael Mayer. Also, Sideman at the Roundabout, and Waiting for Godot at CSC. And those were a long while ago.
Call me crazy, but I feel that if you've got a cast of actors with all these credits and a director whose bio bluntly and concisely states "over 20 years of working in film and theater," I feel that the performance should be close to, if not flawless.
I also realize, however, that most of the work that I've experienced that I'd consider riveting and worth the ticket price involved a serious caliber of talent and maybe it's expecting too much to expect all "professionals" to live up to their standards. I don't know. My acting coach certainly wouldn't agree. His standards were always consistently high. And thank God for that.
Anyway, it's still worth seeing. Despite the laziness in details and some unjustified screaming, again the writing is terrific and the actors do have a lot of very nice moments. The cast is Paul Dano (Little Miss Sunshine), Peter Dinklage (Chronicles of Narnia), Josh Hamilton (Coast of Utopia, This is Our Youth, The House of Yes, Tonight at Noon, et al.) and Zoe Kazan (August and Revolutionary Road).
Check it out.