05 October 2009

Mistakes Were Made

This play, put on by A Red Orchid Theatre, stars Michael Shannon (nominated for the Oscar last year for his turn as a mentally ill man befriended by the couple in Revolutionary Road) in a tour-de-force performance of what is almost a one-man show. Splendidly written, the play centers on a New York theater producer, Felix Artifax, desperately trying to make the deals necessary to bring to the stage an unlikely production about the French Revolution. Mistakes Were Made is often hysterically funny--Felix brags about having previously produced Medea, starring Suzanne Somers--but over the course of its nearly two hours, you get uncomfortable. Shannon brings tremendous physicality to the role, and it's a small theater. Some of the folks in the front rows were visibly disturbed. And after a while Felix's troubles come to seem anything but funny--even tragic. You wonder how the play can possibly resolve itself.

And then it does, with a deft gesture.

Highly recommended.

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