Moon for the Misbegotten
One of the things I love about living in New York is having a few friends who are well connected in the theatre world. Wednesday afternoon I got a call from my friend Tom who just happened to have two free tickets to the invited dress rehearsal that night for Eugene O'Neill's Moon for the Misbegotten starring Kevin Spacey. While technically it's a dress rehearsal, it's pretty much treated as a performance. There are no programs or ushers and the director's table is still set up in the house, however. Mostly it's industry professionals who get invited to these things: actors and directors, producers, designers etc. For the cast it feels almost like performing for family one last time before they start with preview audiences and during the final dress there is always a real feeling of community support and an appreciation for the work on the stage. In the case of Moon for the Misbegotten, this showbiz crowd did not have to work hard to fulfill their role as cheerleader--the show was fabulous.
The production came from London's Old Vic theatre where Kevin Spacey is the Artistic Director. The show opened to excellent reviews last September with a limited run through December. It was such a success they decided to bring it to Broadway with Spacey and the two other London stars: Eve Best and Colm Meaney. These three actors gave beautifully crafted, multi-layered performances of their complex characters. As an actor I found it particularly interesting to see where they were in their process having been away from the show for a couple of months. The energy onstage had the feeling of freshly oiled the cogs and reignited chemistry that the anticipation of a Broadway opening brings.
The play is classic O'Neill with richly human characters and tremendous emotional depth. I was truly moved by this beautiful production on many levels and left the theatre reminded of why I want to go back to school for acting--to someday be able to give as fine a performance as this cast did.