Thursday, October 28, 2010

My Night with David Duchovny

MCC Theater
The Lucille Lortel Theatre
121 Christopher St
New York, NY 10014

NOTE: This is not meant to be a review. Just sharing my experience. Please go see thsi show and judge for yourself. I am actually a happy life and theater loving guy, unlike any reviewer I know.

Had a great time tonight! My wife dragged me to the show. I left in good spirit. Interesting work by Neil Labute. Not the best play I have ever scene on stage, but it was in very good hands and well served by its director and performers.

David is on stage for the full time. About 95 minutes with no intermission. Quite the marathon for a mostly TV/FILM actor. He carried the show well. The only issue I had? Duchovny had this character voice going. I suppose it worked for the character. But I am not sure it served the work. For the first 20 - minute monologue, I focused on the voice, perhaps missing vital information. But mostly it was great to see this TV/FILM star on stage - LIVE. Not bad. I think we can chalk up any short comings to being the first preview night.

I have to say my wife is a little nutty for the guy. Reminds me of the way my mother was for Charlton Heston growing up. (Now she likes Hugh from HOUSE - LMAO)

Amanda Peet gave the most realistic performances of the night. Even handed, Amanda served to highlight the real character David was portraying - the character loathed by those that really knew the old him -  not the NEW MAN that wants all trespasses to be forgiven because of a life changing experience and having been spoken to by GOD, or so he says. Playing both the ex-wife, and cousin of ex-wife / mistress, Peet brought out the best in David's work. The jerk that is trying to have his cake and eat it too from both characters, and also the repentant man trying to drive the NEW look on life. Like so many of her movies, I bet she is not going to be remembered (Because she is a talented actress, not a scene stealing star), but her performance gave the show an anchor in the real world.

John Earls Jelks' characters were a mixed bag of drama and comedy. In both scenes, John's and David's dialogue was very (David) Mametesque. Rhythmic in nature. First as the wheeling and dealing media mogul looking to make David's character big money from the sale of a Disaster Scene Photo taken when all else were being slaughtered. Then as the cop the believes the main character did the deed himself.

Finally in my opinion, the show is all worthwhile to non X-Files junkies because of the show stealing performances of Tracee Chimo. First as the talk show host that prefers the sound of her own voice and ability to wield control - with a smile - over the content of the story. She masterfully conquered and raised the bar in her use of the swivel chair set piece. It served as an extra appendage in her physical comedy, subtle but very precisely executed. You truly believed this character was no novice at putting guests in the hot seat. All of the Duchovny fans will be jealous of her hooker character getting to tease and perform a few brief tasks on stage with David. Very funny. The drama of this scene was a little forced, but that was the more due to the awkwardness of the script OR perhaps they just need a few more performances to nail those transitions.

The sets were minimal but worked and served the piece. Costumes were realistic. Its off-Broadway, no one was trying to WOW anyone with the technical aspects of this play. In fact, I think there was too much. The scaled down Les Miz rotating set and odd LIGHTING transition were more distracting, not supporting the action at all. And not sure what was supposed to happen at the end, but the bad Peter Pan moment was horrible. David ends up a preacher (I am guessing the one or two that actually read this will not be ruined. OTHERWISE SPOILER ALERT lmao), spreading HIS word and his survival story. The closing speech - actually a sermon - gets melodramatic with church music to boot. All of the sudden you realize he is about 3 inches of the step (Dressed to look like the steps to the Church altar). OBVIOUSLY something went wrong. OR at least I hope it did. YIKES> But I suppose that is why we have previews.

Of course the real comedy is being outside after the show. Fans lining up for autographs. Laurice got hers. Three soul sister drag queens walked by (This was Christopher Street) "OMG That's the X-Files guy." Three mature ladies waiting for his scribble remarked (Think LI Jewish Mother) "He really is quite a handsome man." And three girls from Brazil traveled 1000s of miles just to meet Mulder. Who knew he almost would be PLAYING GOD.

Next week I want to go back and get this one signed. Hey David, Can I get your John Hancock...