Saturday, September 14, 2013

Hey You...Thespian...I Really Like You...Part I

Amazing NYC Stage Thespians
The ambitious and simultaneous mounting of five Lucy Thurber's plays in four NYC theaters has been the subject of several articles recently. Of all The Hill Town Plays, Scarcity has received the most favorable reviews. Curious about the playwright and the effort, I headed over to the Cherry Lane earlier this week. Ritualistically, I snuggled in my seat, took in the set and then opened the program. Imagine my joy when I read that actress Deirdre O'Connell was a part of the cast. I knew then that even if the play didn't quite resonate with me, I was going to witness a stellar performance. And stellar it was!  

To celebrate these actors, who can consistently make any performance worthwhile, here is a new series...NYC stage thespians I really (really) like...

Deirdre O'Connell
First up and fresh from just a day ago...there is the amazing Deirdre O'Connell. Ms. O'Connell plays the middle-aged, middle-classed, not quite together woman with absolute perfection. No one else I've seen on the NYC stage channels this person better than Ms. O'Connell. Right now, theater-lovers can see her in Scarcity. Recently, she appeared in The Vandal at The Flea and A Family for All Occasions at Labyrinth.  

Matthew Maher 
Okay, so the last two plays I've seen with Matthew Maher in...Playwright Horizon's The Flick and Mr. Burns: A Post-Electric Play...did not resonate with me. I didn't quite "get" the plays. But in the hands of Mr. Maher, my evenings were not wasted...his subtle humor saved the evening...saves every performance. 

Reed Birney
Patrick Healy's NYTimes article - Actor Ages into His Broadway Comeback - nails it on the head when it comes to the understated Reed Birney who has been pounding the NYC stage pavement for years. There is always a gentleness...a sadness to his performance. In the article, director Sam Gold is quoted as saying, "He doesn’t hold back, but he doesn’t impose, and there’s just a ton of soul and history and sadness and character that he brings to the table.” I recently caught Mr. Birney excellent performance in Core Values at ARS Nova.

Related Posts - Other Amazing Thespians
Who is Virginia Kull??
Two Impeccable Performances: Brian Bedford and Nina Arianda 

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