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Peter and the Starcatcher, as we all know by now, is fabulous. I was lucky enough to see it with Becca when it was first at New York Theatre Workshop. Craig had not yet seen this glorious piece of magical theatre and so we went last week.

The show is quick, wordy, and alive. Alive in the way that great writing rests in the mouths of capable actors with an effervescence: bubbly, prickly, carbonated truthiness that endows each moment with both crude humor and subtle sophistication. In that writing, and in the tightness of really freaking good theatre, actors are at their best: open and resplendent.

408101_618443741916_1005478248_nIt was in this combination of writing and performance that I had one of the most satisfying and hearty laughs of all time.

It gives nothing away to say we were toward the end of the play when the character of Smee, does a semi-victory dance, semi-crowd rousing cheer for his captain: Black Stache. The physical demands of this moment were not much, I can only imagine what was actually written in the stage directions. But the actor giddy-upped into a flavorful, utterly present, ridiculously giving and seemingly effortless comic tangent that the audience followed through every juicy millisecond. So much were we with this actor, so much were all the actors on stage with this actor, SO MUCH was this actor giving himself over to the moment – that we all continued to fall into deeper and longer laughter. The show stopped. We kept laughing. The actors on stage took the impending cascade of giggles and “breaks” and wove them seamlessly into the plot with wisecracking acknowledgement and without losing the inertia of the play’s denouement.

Smee and Black Stache

It was thrilling.

When Craig and I left, tears in our eyes and our faces still creased from the fun, I considered why that moment mattered. We, the audience, were in it with the actors. It wasn’t an inside joke, a personal aside, only privy to those on stage. It was for all of us. It was unexpected. We were in unspoken agreement of delight. And it was glorious.

This is why I love being an actor. To share in that moment with audiences is the greatest acknowledgement that we are all part of something big and mysterious. And when we are fully present, palpitating with the beating heart of a really good story, there is no end to what hilarious, and poignant, and mystical, and charming, and life-affirming moments we can catch, if only for just a second.

There are many reasons why I love the theatre, but this one, has to be at the very top of a very long and grateful list.

beccaGo see some theatre this weekend and tell us about! Any shows you are dying to see? Check out Becca on Broadway to get some ideas for the weekend!

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7 years ago

you guys are the best. thanks for the shout-out.