oh. my. god.
it’s an excellent play, a brilliant play, perhaps even a great play, in the true sense of the word “great”. but it definitely gives fresh meaning to grand guignol.
the plot? a former ira member who is forming a splinter group entrusts his cat to his father’s care. the cat dies. a coverup, and gruesome hilarity, ensues.
but hilarity with a point. it’s a cogent commentary on terrorism, but it’s not a connection you really think about actively until the end of the play, because the play is so well written and so darkly comic that you are wrapped up in the plot and the comedy.
it’s dark, though. really dark. and incredibly bloody, and gory, and shocking, and startling. leave the kids and your squeamish friends at home, or bring them along for added entertainment. i loved every minute. and toward the end of the play is the best line with the most impeccable delivery i’ve seen in a theater in ages. the line, which will mean little or nothing out of context, is “when will it all end?” i laughed so hard i nearly peed a little, and then stopped and saw the other meanings of the phrase, and immediately got the brilliance of the play.
by the end of the play you, like the characters, are completely inured to the violence you have witnessed, and it’s not pretty to recognize that in yourself. but it’s certainly instructive.
this is a farce that joe orton would have killed to have written. well, maybe that’s not the best way to put it. but you get the idea.
i can’t imagine that this season’s best play tony award winner, “the history boys”, is better than this.
but it certainly must have been a safer pick for voters than this.
the evening began with a return visit (for me) and a first visit (for kirk) to rene pujol–fantastic french food that’s not inexpensive but is a great value. i had saucisse chaud avec lentilles (warm garlic sausage with lentil salad) followed by a lightly breaded grouper with saffron risotto; both were excellent. kirk had a smoked salmon salad followed by pork tenderloin with cooked greens and mashed potatoes. i thought the pork tenderloin was the best dish of the evening–perfectly cooked and juicy and tender.
it wasn’t fussy food–it was quality ingredients prepared with expert attention to detail.
it was a great new york night–i just wished it didn’t have to end.