Saturday, November 25, 2006

Fun Friday night

I hopped a train into the city Friday afternoon and met Jess; we went around the corner from his work to BLT Burger before attempting to do a few shopping errands: I had a cheeseburger, cole slaw and onion rings; Jess had a cheeseburger and cole slaw.

We both loved the burgers; I thought they served about the best burger I've had in New York: crispy and very browned on the outside, and cooked medium on the inside, the meat was very tasty. I thought the cole slaw was okay, though it was cut to such a length that I had to roll it around the fork like spaghetti to eat it! Jess liked it a lot. I am such a slaw critic that there aren't many out there that rate more than okay with me.

I was just okay with the onion rings; the outside was thick and heavy like pancake batter, and held a lot of grease. I was hoping for something crispier and more lightly battered. I prefer battered rings to breaded rings, and these were battered, but I like the batter very light so I can really taste the onion.

The service was very attentive and personable. Overall, I'd go again. I did like those burgers.

We rode the subway to Penn Station since we had to do some shopping and errands. The streets and sidewalks were an absolute madhouse. People everywhere, the sidewalks so full of distracted tourists that those of us locals who needed to get where we needed to go walked in the street where it was safe to do so. Remind me never to be in the city again on the day after Thanksgiving.

Following our errands, we met up with Jeff and Steve to see The Little Dog Laughed. It might have been called Whoring as an Art Form. Every character in it is a whore at some level. The setup is that Tom Everett Scott's character is an up-and-coming actor who is secretly gay, and his agent, who is a lesbian, is his cover. Scott's character gets involved with a male prostitute who is bisexual, and the prostitute's girlfriend finds out about his blossoming relationship with the movie star.

It was a fun show, and it was all Julie White's. She plays the agent and she does so with a brilliance and spice that none of the other players even approach. From her opening monologue, a narration that sets the story, she has the audience in the palm of her swiftly-moving hand, and she never lets go.

Tom Everett Scott's performance and appearance were disappointing. He's lost a lot of his boyish good looks that brought him the spotlight in That Thing You Do and An American Werewolf in Paris, and he just doesn't keep himself up well. His overall appearance is disheveled, unkempt. It's a little hard to believe he's cast as a heartthrob. While his performance had its moments, those moments were few and unfulfilling. This one is living proof that screen actor does not equal stage actor.

Johnny Galecki's performance as the boy-on-call was somewhat reminiscent of his past life as David, Darlene's boyfriend on Roseanne. He played the part a with a little too much aw-shucks dopiness to be believable as a hustler. Ari Graynor, the hustler's girlfriend, seemed to model her character after Britney Spears, pretty but unrefined, with a thickness to match that of Galecki's role. They made a good pair. Honestly, the other players only provided a distraction to Julie White's bitingly funny performance and the clever staging. At one point, the comment was made among us that her performance was played with the biting wit of that of another brilliant actress of stage and screen, Harriet Harris, who played Frasier's agent Bebe Glazer on Frasier. It brought us to recall a particular episode where Roz is considering hiring Bebe as her agent. After having been warned off by Frasier about the danger of such a move, Roz dismisses it: "It's not like she worships the devil!" to which Frasier remarks with alarm, "She doesn't have to! He worships her!

During the intermission, a familiar face came from the front row and was walking back to the rear of the theatre. It was Rue McClanahan, of Golden Girls fame. She didn't look as good as I expected her to, based on pictures and clips I have seen of her at relatively recent functions; she's only 72, but she looked about 10 years older than that. She didn't return for the second half. I hope she was okay.

I had to wonder if the writer of this show didn't have someone specific in mind when they wrote the play. I'm thinking a famous Tom who very recently married following the birth of his new wife's child. It was just all very familiar...but it could have been about any number of actors.

Following the show, I got to speak with Ms. White ever so briefly and congratulated her, remarking that she lit up the stage with her performance, to which she quipped, "That's so sweet. I hope it wasn't because there were fireworks coming out of my butt or something like that!"

If you want some comic relief, The Little Dog Laughed is a fun show. But don't go looking for serious acting from the entire cast, because you'll only find it in Julie White.


At 1:43 PM, November 26, 2006, Blogger pinknest said...

cheers to the burgers! sorry you didn't like the onion rings. i like all sorts...heavliy battered, lightly battered, extra crispy, extra greasy... :) and i agree with you on that cole slaw.

At 12:23 AM, December 01, 2006, Blogger Tuna Girl said...

Aw. I had the whole brood out and about it the city that day. I wish I'd known you were out and about. Those burgers sound good. ;-)


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