Hey guys, I propose an outing to see Quality of Life next week. Here are the details:
Again, I enjoyed the play more because I didn't know anything about it going in, so I don't really want to put a capsule description here, but I compare the experience of watching it to the experience of watching American Beauty for the first time: it's heavy, and moving, but also entertaining, and funny, and uplifting for reasons that are hard to put my finger on. And the acting is phenomenal.
And so Dan got us all to see The Quality of Life by Jane Anderson tonight. It's about two couples dealing with loss and grief, a Ohioan couple having lost their only daughter and a Californian couple having lost their home in a forest fire. It does what good plays do, which is have a bunch of different characters talk and see what happens. It felt almost voyeuristic because the conversation was so natural. The play is about life and death and living and dying and liberals and conservatives and grief and loss and God and Jesus and marijuana. It's depressing and uplifting at the same time. I recommend it; it's much better than Rock 'n' Roll, which I paid three times as much to see.
Dan said he enjoyed it not knowing anything, so I didn't look anything up. When we got to A.C.T., I saw the poster, and some of the names looked familiar. Steven Culp was ringing a bell for some reason. Laurie Metcalf was a famous name, I thought. And why did I know the name JoBeth Williams? Reading the program gave me the answers:
Steven Culp was in Traveler!! I had just been thinking about how I liked that show. He played Agent Chambers, the one heading the investigation looking for our heroes.
Laurie Metcalf I don't think I'd actually seen, but her name was famous because she was in Roseanne, and I had just read an article about the show in Entertainment Weekly.
JoBeth Williams was in...Poltergeist? Hm, that wasn't it. I turned the page. She had a recurring role in Dexter last season? Holy crap, she was Rita's mom!!
I had no idea the show had such a star-studded cast! Okay, I think the flier I got in the mail probably mentioned the "star-studded cast," but I tossed it into the recycle bin almost immediately, not recognizing the play or playwright. But I love when you go to a show and discover something like that. Like seeing Avenue Q at the Orpheum and reading that one of the swings is the voice of Suki from Avatar. Or my personal favorite, seeing Art at the Alley Theatre in Houston—which double-cast the show and rotated actors in and out every night so that you could go five nights in a row and never see the same cast—and getting to see K. Todd Freeman, who played Mr. Trick on Buffy.
What unexpectedly cool cast members have you been blessed with? I don't mean when you go specifically to see David Tennant in Hamlet, but when you obliviously go see Hamlet and discover that it stars David Tennant.