Saturday, October 20, 2007

Speech And Debate

Roundabout Underground
(now in previews)

What a fun, edgy, modern, youthful, messy play to inaugurate the new hush-hush! basement blackbox theater hidden at the Laura Pels behind an "employees only" type door and down an elevator shaft! Dedicated to cultivating new work from emerging playwrights, Roundabout has gathered some amazing talent to bring to blazing life Speech and Debate, a tale about 3 hyper-opinionated teenagers with like, super-serious omg! secrets. Jason Fuchs, Sarah Steele and Gideon Glick look like teenagers, act like teenagers but have all the talent of seasoned university trained, professional adult actors. Special shout out to Glick's take on a faggy, came out at 9, choreographically inclined, Internet cruising, barely legal gayboy. His delivery was- well I can't do it justice here, but it was SO OUT THERE and extreme and it like TOTALLY worked. And my secret straight crush on [title of show] alum, Susan Blackwell, who hilariously owns the room in her two scenes as the only adult presence, continues to ensizzle my great actress-loving heart. Playwright Stephen Karam, who co-authored 2006's columbinus (which I LOVED at NYTW), has given our actors so much to play, with his hip, realistic, wordy dialogue and his ever-present need to keep the audience fully engaged. It mostly works amazingly though this need sometimes plays against his work as there are times when we are in overkill mode (one can only be in a room with talkative teenagers so long before one wants to strangle and/or fuck them) and with its 4-ish endings is perhaps just a few minutes too long. It's not a perfect play, but I kinda think it's not supposed to be and I loved it and I can't wait to sneak back down to Roundabout's hideout to see which diamond in the rough they illuminate next.

Also blogged by: [Patrick]

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