|photo: Paul Fox|
It's certainly taking a big leap of faith to assume that your play is good enough that an audience will want to watch a play, take a ten-minute break, then immediately watch it again, albeit with different actors. And there were a handful of walkouts after the first cast performance yesterday. However, after watching Sanyal and Gilpin, I couldn't wait to see it again with Long and Hamilton.
In brief, the action centers around a friendship between A (Gilpin/Hamilton), a socially conscious teacher, and B (Sanyal/Long), his so-called best friend. Their relationship becomes strained when their government initiates the intervention of the title, which B supports and A vehemently opposes. Further, A is openly hostile towards B's new girlfriend, who views him/her as an incorrigible alcoholic and bad influence.
Although both pairs have their strong selling points, I felt it worked better with Gilpin and Sanyal. There was something kinetic about the male/female dynamic that was missing from Hamilton and Long's interpretation of a platonic heterosexual male friendship. Also, Betty Gilpin -- of whom I've heard but I don't think seen in anything before yesterday -- is a star in the making. What a committed, daring, and heartbreaking performance she is turning in.
Neugebauer's staging is bare bones, yet effective, with subtle differences in pacing and blocking to accommodate the variances in style between the two acting partners. An Intervention runs through Sunday, with Gilpin and Sanyal performing tomorrow night and both performances on Saturday, Long and Hamilton performing at the Thursday and Sunday matinees, and both casts performing on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday nights. See one or both casts, but see the play if you can. Bartlett is an undeniable talent.
[Rush tickets, house left box seat]