Monday, January 28, 2008
I caught the new Brooke Berman play this weekend with blogger tickets. I found it utterly charming. Chernus and Keira stood out but the entire cast was pretty freaking great. I don't know Brooke's work as well as I should but it occurred to me watching the play that there were no unlikable characters. I don't know if that's true of her other work. The play is a lot about the itinerant nature of us 20 and 30 somethings constantly moving from apartment to apartment, and job to job trying to figure out how to live. This seems specific to the difficulties of our generation which are of course amplified in New York. This search for the American dream and affordable way of life--it's not easy. There is a big part in Hunting and Gathering about the game Big Buck Hunter. I remember Adam Rapp talking in an interview about he was addicted to the game and nationally ranked or something. and I'm not sure whether or not the connection was made in the article to the way he writes plays--getting the characters to come out into the clearing and then blowing them away. (Like get your character up in a tree and throw apples at him, taken to an extreme.) Brooke's play is not in any way like that. But it was interesting to see her use Big Buck Hunter as a form of therapy for her characters. In some ways, the play reminded me what a play can be. I can't say exactly what makes it nontraditional, but it feels like a new structure. Basically it follows four different characters who are linked to one another in various ways. I've been writing so many large cast plays with lots of actors playing multiple parts that I forgot that you can just write a play about four people and let them interact. And if you're Brooke, this will work. Anyway, I recommend it. And if Amazons and Their Men is still playing, you should see that too.