I confess: I am not so much in love with the theater. Or maybe, more specifically: contemporary theater. I can’t pontificate for hours on why it’s essential, and the productions that grab me and stick with me tend to be few and far between. I oftentimes find myself frustrated with plays – my OWN and those of others – that aren’t theatrical.
But David Cromer’s Our Town makes theater feel like the most necessary and magical thing in the world. The production has been around for like 2-3 years now, I think? It started in Chicago in a tiny tiny theater in Wicker Park, then transferred to off-broadway in NYC where it ran for 500 performances, the longest production run in the play’s History. Now it’s in Santa Monica and stage managed by Helen Hunt, who is gentle and beautiful and masculine. Thanks to friend Max (Chip in Oohrah!, playing the Milk Man in OT) I was able to check out the dress rehearsal (saw it once at Barrow street.) I can’t remember the last time I was so excited about anything. It’s an incredible production of a perfectly flawed and constantly relevant play – from the constant house lights, to actors so close to you you can smell and feel them, to the plainness of people and clothes, to the lack of magic creating ACTUAL magic, to the surprise in Act III that I could watch 100 times. I just love it. And that is the only theater and why it is necessary / reasons to drive to Santa Monica / why does it take one hour to go 15 miles essay you’ll be getting from me. At least for today.