Evening at the Talk House is playing at the Signature Theatre located at 480 West 42nd Street. It runs one hour forty minutes with no intermission. It closes on March 13, 2017.
The play premiered on November 2015 at the National Theatre in London.
Derek McLane is the scenic designer. He won two Tony Awards for Ragtime (2010) and 33 Variations (2009). Derek was nominated for two Tony Awards for Anything Goes (2011) and Pajama Game (2006) and a Drama Desk Award for Anything Goes (2011).
Jeff Mahshie is the costume designer. He was nominated for a Tony Award for She Loves Me (2016).
Matthew Broderick won two Tony Awards for How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying (1995) and Brighton Beach Memoirs (1993). He was nominated for a Tony Award for The Producers (2001). As of 2016 he is the youngest winner of the Tony Award for best Featured Actor in a Play.
Jill Elkenberry was nominated for five Prime Time Emmy’s for L A Law (1987-1994).
Claudia Shear was nominated for a Tony Award and a Drama Desk Award for Dirty Blonde (2000) and a Drama Desk Award for Blown Sideways Through Life (2000).
Talk House is a club where actors hang out.
Robert (Matthew Broderick) is there celebrate the 10th anniversary of his underappreciated master piece called “Midnight in a Clearing With Moon & Stars”. Ted (John Epperson) is playing the piano. Robert talks about himself and his life since the play. When Ted leaves, he continue to talk when he notices Dick (Wallace Shawn) in the corner. He looks down on his luck. His face is battered. It seems some friends beat him up. Casually other people involve in the play come into the room.
Nellie (Jill Elkenberry) is the host and owner of Talk House. Jane (Annapurna Sriram) who was in the play works for Nellie. She helps serve drinks to the guests. Food is brought in.
Tom (Larry Pine) is still acting. The rest have left the business. Annette (Claudia Shear) worked on the costumes went into making original clothes for clients. That didn’t work and now she is involved with something sinister. Bill (Michael Tucker) is a talent agent. The conversation is about actors they know.
Nellie mentions two actors who have died recently that were poison. They wonder who will be next.
The electricity in the neighborhood has a tenacity go off. When it does; the group retreats to another room. Robert and Jane stay. Jane lights candles around the room. It seems they had a thing going during the run of the play.
This is a fun play to see. Things happen which I won’t tell you. Why spoil it! I wonder if the jobs Jane and Annette said they had were true or made up.
When you come in the theatre the stage is in the center. They encourage you to stay on the stage. Jill is serving color sparling water. Annapurna has a tray with marshmallows and gummy bear and such. The audience gets to mingle with the cast as they come in.
The cast is stellar in their roles. John Epperson plays the piano beautifully. Jill Elkenberry sings a song. I never knew she could sing. She has a beautiful voice. I was surprised.
Wallace Shawn not only acts in the play, he is the playwright.
Review by Rozanna Radakovich.
Photos by Annazor.
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