Almost An Evening

Almost an Evening by Ethan Coen, directed by Neil Pepe, playing through June 1 at The Theatres at 45 Bleecker, New York, NY. For description and background, click here. For the inevitable Times review, click here.

Go. That’s it. Go. Just go already. There’s no reason not to go, so put on some shoes and get on the subway and go. Even if you’re not a rabid theater-goer, you should go, because this is Coen brother(s) theater, so it’s not what you think it’s gonna be. Stop thinking about it. You could have gotten on your pants already and be out the door.

For one, it’s completely entertaining. Three short plays by Ethan Coen with an all-star-ish cast that includes all kinds of people whose names you won’t recognize but whose faces you will. (Joey Slotnick, Johanna Day, Mark Linn-Baker, and Tim Hopper, who replaced the tasty Jonathan Cake* when the show moved from The Atlantic Theater.)The notable exception here is F. Murray Abraham. His features have gotten even bigger over the years since Salieri, he plays God among other roles and he yells a lot of profanity. What’s not to love?

For two, even if you don’t love live theater, it’s brief – an hour and a half – so it won’t cut into your evening. And it’s not rocket science, so you won’t be depressed afterwards or argue with your date or say things like, “I didn’t get it,” or, “I’m going to have to think about that,” or, “Next time, we’re going to the kung fu festival at the Film Forum.”

On the other hand, if you do froth at the mouth when you talk about the theater, as I do, you will not be left out. It’s clever, it’s interesting and the acting and writing are of a consistently high quality, (even if you there are notable moments when you’re aware that Coen is used to writing for the screen). The plays are a testament to what quick material can be in the hands of capable actors.

For three, it’s at The Theatres at 45 Bleecker (cross street Lafayette), so you’ll already be in a hip neighborhood for drinks afterwards.

For four, R and I are on their web site laughing it up. Click on the Audience Testimonials link on the home page – we’re about halfway through.

*Cake played a a buff and be-toweled Iachimo in the Lincoln Center production of Cymbeline last year. The Coen role also calls for a towel (see photo). That must say something about specialization opportunities in the theater, right? “Well, there’s a towel in the scene…let’s call our man Cake!” I need a go-to niche like that. Please send suggestions if you see them.


Categories: NYC (there), Watch This


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