Thursday, June 3, 2010

The Metal Children With Billy Crudup At The Vineyard Theatre

By Father Tony

Last night, I saw The Metal Children featuring the attractive and talented Billy Crudup in the lead. After the performance the actors came back on stage for a question and answer session with the audience. This was, if for no other reason, helpful in that each one said his name upon returning to the stage. Mr. Crudup saws "CREW-dep", not "CRUHD-up". Should he ever sneak into my bed, I would not wish to offend in my salutation.

You have until June 13th to see this play. There are two or three themes that run through it concurrently so if the struggle of a writer to understand how and why to write doesn't interest you, there is still the business of the struggle of a man to come to terms with a failed marriage. And if that is also a yawn for you, there is also the business of bigoted small town types who ban books, and rabid fans who also go off their own private deep end. In fact, I would say that this play is a pool with three or four separate and frightening deep ends into which I'm glad I jumped.

During the question-and-answer, I asked about the fact that there were many very funny lines but very little laughter from the audience. I assured the cast that I didn't think their timing was off but I was wondering what typical audience responses had been. They replied that they were sometimes mystified by the various responses. They said that earlier in the run, laughter was larger. Now, audiences seemed more taken up in the plot and the themes. My companion, an editor and writer, laughed loud and alone at some lines. I think many people in the audience felt as if they were straddling a fence between serious and comedic, and weren't allowing themselves to laugh at the funny lines once they had dismounted on the serious side of the fence. I'm glad I saw this and I hope that someday, when he is bored with being straight, Mr. Crudup will contact me to take his walk on the wild side. I know when to laugh.

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