Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Mondo and Beebo

Mr. Porter added his rave to all of the others I've been hearing lately about Firehouse's "Virginia Woolf." I thought the Style review might come out today but I'm not seeing it online and haven't picked up the hard copy yet. We'll have to stay tuned for that one.

One thing that I think is interesting about Richmond actors is how often they are underestimated. There are a score or more folks who have been acting in town for years -- decades for some of them -- and you tend to forget how good they are because they have played so many supporting or ensemble roles where their skills are not necessarily front and center, or they often play relatively 2-dimensional characters in big musicals or something. But when they are thrust front and center and given something really meaty to dig into, they deliver the goods.

Having watched him for years in parts big and small, I am not surprised that Larry Cook is knocking it out of the park in "Virginia Woolf." This is an actor that is clearly still learning and growing even though he's been around the block a few times. Similarly, I was reminded how good Andy Boothby can be when I saw "On Golden Pond" last month. He only had one big scene but I thought he really made it count. Gordon Bass has played so many roles I expect his resume runs to 10 pages or so. But I heard people (ok, critics -- they still qualify as people right?) talking about him with renewed respect after "Fool for Love." I felt the same way after seeing him in "How I Learned To Drive" many years ago, something along the lines of "this kid's show regular can really act."

I guess I'm feeling a little extra affection for the somewhat older generation of male actors in town because a) they are doing such excellent work and b) because I'm so clearly becoming one of the "older generation" myself.

Anyway, to change the subject to something completely different: how about that cast for RTP's "Beebo Brinker Chronicles?" Emma Mason and Matt Hackman are one of the hunkiest acting couples in town right now (can we give them a cute moniker like "Emmatt?") and Heather Falks and Kerry McGee are pretty darn easy on the eyes as well. I'm sure the show will be compelling in all of the ways its supposed to be but, knowing only the basics of the plot, I'll mostly be going to ogle the cast (see, not only am I now an old man, I'm a dirty old man!) Opening night's tonight -- don't miss out!

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