Equivocating the Act
I had never heard this word before. I like the way it feels when it rolls out of my lips. Equivocation.
Equivocation is the title of Bill Cain's new work currently playing at the Geffen Playhouse. Equivocation.
I had the fortune to see 'Equivocation' with my friend Paolo.
It's not his disguised name, unlike Muse.
And I'm not referring to the 'figurative Paolo' that I used to tease my boyfriends with, as if there was another man in the room.
Hm, I think I'm weird.
Anyways, Paolo had auditioned for this production and was dying to see how it panned out. And of course, I'm always in the mood for great theater.
Equivocation is a meta-theatrically played, ingeniously directed, political history play; woven with Shakespearean references, quotes, and 'multiple character acting' by the majority of the cast.
It is all around clever and brilliant. And it is exhausting. I wish only that I was more knowledgeable of the history of the Kings of England to better understand with ease everything that was being 'equivocated'.
I always fell asleep in history class in high school. It was after lunch.
I can't talk anymore about the play without raving about it like a giddy reviewer except that afterward Paolo and I were starving.
We were starving because we burned so many calories while keeping up with every moment of the deliciously complex play while it was being played, that all we could think about after the play was food.
So there we were, Paolo and I, wandering around starving in an already shut down night life in Westwood at 11pm. So LA! And in our delirium and hunger we marveled at how consistently brilliant and present a lot of theater acting is in Los Angeles.Come to think of it, of the great theater acting in Los Angeles I have seen, in black boxes, in would be Off-Broadway sized houses, I would dare juxtapose to the caliber of acting on Broadway or even go as far as comparing it to my favorite theater in New York, the Brooklyn Academy of Music.
And then Paolo said the most non-equivocating, but direct and clear observation; (again as a writer, I've pieced his quote together)
"Perhaps being that the dominating medium of storytelling in Los Angeles is film and television it forces its actors to consistently give performances that are devoid of dead time. The camera would give them away.
Therefore because they are forced to be present and precise and alive all the time, in their dominating form of work, they carry that same modus operandi to their work on stage in theater, which in Los Angeles just happens to be the minority form.
Because that's just how they have to act all the time, thus giving very present and alive performances."
Holy Crow! Makes sense. In acting classes here, which are mostly on-camera, I've learned to pick up the pace, or rather to not indulge. But to cut to the chase; to always be 'active' in the acting. To trim the fat. Equivocally speaking.You can't hide on-camera. But you can 'cheat' on stage.
And it does seem lately, that the movie stars (who are also well versed stage actors) have headed east to Broadway.
With 'celeb actors' like Daniel Craig, Jude Law, John Stamos, Gina Gershon, Julia Stiles, Sienna Miller, Bill Pullman, and the ever versatile Hugh Jackman (Boy! That's a lot!) headlining Broadway's marquis does that mean that Hollywood is left to the 'actors'...?
I equivocate...that and the economy is forcing producers to guarantee a box office draw. I went home and made myself a nice big bowl of protein and carbohydrates. Pasta and Meatballs. No wonder actors are so skinny.
(photos courtesy of the Geffen Playhouse)
Yours Truly -- Ann Hu