Cheers from London! I am seeing my first West End show tomorrow night, but before that, I wanted to give a recap of the Geffen's latest political drama, Farragut North.
Another example of Hollywood on stage, this production featured Chris Noth (yes, Mr. Big) as a seasoned campaign manager and boss to media whiz kid Chris Pine (calm down, Trekkies). Thrown into the mix is the competition, Isiah Whitlock Jr (from my current HBO DVD obsession, The Wire) and Juno's Olivia Thirlby as a teenaged intern.
To be fair, I saw this show on its preview night. Still, considering the venue and the actors in it, I was not expecting as many missed lines and set difficulties (at one point a hanging piece was broken in transition). Even with his line flubs, Pine was still great, and at the end I truly hated his character. Noth and Thirlby were both solid- in smoothness (both have played these roles before) and believability. The dialog and plot seemed overly simple at first, so the explosive last five minutes of the show seemed a little out of place, but I am sure that after that first night of experiencing the audience's sometimes awkward reactions to certain things, they will be able to achieve a more steady buildup to the ending.
The audience reaction pulled out several interesting themes in the show as often only men or only women would laugh at certain moments, clearly defining some gender issues that I might not have picked up on simply reading the text. The acting in this show was great in character relationships.
On the way out, I thought I was bumping into paparazzi trying to catch shots of the celebrities in the cast leaving the building. On a second glance, I realized they were middle-aged Star Trek fans with memorabilia for Chris Pine.