Monday, June 28, 2010

This Wide Night

Last week, I got to see the amazing Edie Falco take the stage in This Wide Night. I so completely love her work in Nurse Jackie on Showtime, and when I heard she was doing this play, I had to see her work onstage - especially since she started as a stage actress.

Plus I had auditioned for the understudy position of the younger character (this is a play about 2 women who've been in prison together) so I really wanted to see it.

When I picked up my ticket at the box office, I discovered the theatre was on the 4th floor. The door to the stairwell was locked, so I joined the crowd waiting for the elevator. It was funny because each audience member attempted to open the door, hoping to walk the 4 flights up to the theatre, but the door wouldn't budge. It was as if the locked door was Excalibur, and we hoped someone would be strong enough to pull it forth.

Suddenly a beautiful woman breezed in behind me. She was tall and wearing this gorgeous violet-colored blouse.

"Did anyone try the door?" she asked politely.

"Yeah," we all sighed. "We have to wait for the elevator."

When I took a second glance at this lovely lady, I realized she was Cherry Jones, the actress who originated the role of Sister Aloysius in the Broadway production of Doubt.

I wanted to say, "Oh my gosh! You are the reason I'm here! My best friends, Carl and Michael, saw you in Doubt and I always regretted missing your performance. That's why I'm here! To catch another tour de force!" But before I could say anything to her, someone else jumped in and gushed about how much they enjoyed her work.

Still, I thought it was a pretty cool sign.

When we finally got upstairs and into the theatre, I took my seat, which was front row center. It was a small Off Broadway theatre, but wonderfully deluxe, and I was about 5 feet away from the stage. When the play started, I felt like I was actually onstage with these women. It was so intimate - I could see tears spilling down their cheeks!

Edie Falco was lovely. I could feel her character's pain, masked behind her humor. And Alison Pill blew me away! It was like she was channeling her character. She WAS this broken prostitute! There was no artifice. It was a master class on acting, watching these two women work.

And I have a massive new respect for Naked Angels, who produced this play. I also love that actors like Cherry Jones and Victor Garber were there in the audience. It reminded me of when a 2-time-Tony-Award Winning actress came to see a staged reading I was in at Bleecker Street Theatre, and told me how much she liked my work. I was absolutely blown away by her generous praise, and incredibly inspired and delighted by these great artists who come to the theatre to support new artists, plays and musicals.

I feel so fortunate to be a part of it.

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