Heady Holiday Times

What a month for working on new plays! The shuttling back and forth to New York and Judy’s 6 month long effort to reimagine the play about her life culminates in this weekend’s opening in the snow, and today’s triumphant review (see below or click here). Plus last Friday’s Tea @ 2 of the extraordinarily promising IMAGINING MADOFF by Deb Margolin which moved and excited us all in the most profound ways. We can’t wait to pursue this work in the weeks and months ahead!

And yesterday we opened rehearsals of Itamar Moses’ THE FOUR OF US with a dynamite cast and creative team and the play read so brilliantly! I share these recently penned thoughts about the play, but took 7 fresh new pages of notes, so thoroughly engrossing was the reading — I’ll share those fresher thoughts in a piece to come. But here’s a bit of what makes THE FOUR OF US so special.

Like last season’s hit comedy, The Rise and Fall of Annie Hall by Sam Forman, The Four of Us introduces a bold new voice for the American stage. Itamar Moses has been highly touted as a prodigy, “a young American Tom Stoppard,” capable of writing loquacious historical farce inspired by classical music structures, or sterling one-acts of stunning ingenuity. Here in The Four of Us, he’s done what Stoppard did in The Real Thing; he’s gotten personal; he’s gotten close-to-the-bone-revealing; he’s gotten brutally honest and, in so doing, he’s written his best play yet.

The truth is it doesn’t matter whether Itamar is basing this revealing little play off people we know, or have heard of, or if these details where wholly invented. The roman a clef angle is of no interest to the playwright. He’s much more eager to tell a story about friendship as a kind of archetype that’s mortally challenged by the insurgent forces of money, fame, affirmation and jealousy. It’s a classical fall Moses wants us to witness; not a Vanity Fair sidebar. Still, this can’t help but have the ring of absolute authenticity. It certainly “feels” like all these events have actually happened. And that’s the mark of a prodigious writer, which Itamar Moses most certainly is.

There’s more to share. Intensive one-on-one working with the playwright Pamela Bremment (we workshopped her LOVE IS NOT ALL in Tea @ 2 last year) which ends today as I drive her back to the airport. But how gratifying, to be working so closely with a writer, page-to-page, while another brand new work takes off on the mainstage, and another recently produced work is born anew as we begin rehearsals in our library, site of our electric Friday reading of perhaps the most exciting new play we’ve heard in years.

There’s a whole lot of new wonderful work going on!