Playing the Cort Theatre at 138 West 48th Street. It runs one hour forty five minutes with no intermission. The play runs until January 6, 2013.
Ed Asner is best know for his role as Lou Grant in "The Mary Tyler Show" from 1977-1982. He also had his own show "Lou Grant". He won several Emmy Awards for these roles.
Michael Shannon was nominated for an Academy Award in 2008 for "Revolutionary Road".
Paul Rudd made his Broadway debut in the Tony Award winning "The Last Night of Ballyhoo" (best play 1997).
Grace first premiered at the Woolly Mammoth Theatre in Washington D. C. in 2004 and was later seen at Northlight Theatre in Chicago (2006) and Pasadena Playhouse (2006). In Los Angele's it won three Drama Critics Awards.
This production makes its New York premiere and debut of playwright Craig Wright and director Dexter Bullard. Craig has television writing credits for "Dirty Sexy Money" and "Brothers and Sisters".
The play takes place in two independent furnished rental condos next to each other on the Florida shore. The time is the present.
The show opens with Steve (Paul Rudd) just killing Sara (Katie Arrington) and Sam (Michael Shannon). Steve literally walks back in slow motion to explain what has just happened.
Steve and Sara are a married couple who have come from Minnesota to Florida to open up a chain of gospel motels. Steve is very pious and quotes the scripture. Sara just wants to start a family but Steve is so caught up in opening his motels, he doesn't have time for her needs.
Steve is promised money to start the chain and is excited about it.
His next door neighbor Sam lost his girl friend in an auto accident. The right side of his face was disfigure in the accident. A mask covers the scars. Sam blames himself for the accident. His girl friend was petrified to drive on the highway and he made her do it.
Things unravel for all three. Every thing falls apart for Steve he has an uncontrollable itch, the backer does not come thru with the money and his wife and Sam become friendly. Need I say more.
I was disappointed in the show. It was confusing in the beginning. Unless you read the playbill in the beginning that it was two similar apartments you would think it was one. I was wondering why Sam was in Steve's apartment and they did not notice him. The set went around in a circle, one front door, patio door, dinning room table and couch with table and chairs.
There was no character build up. I felt no sympathy or compassion for anyone. I did not feel anything for Sam. I should have, he lost his girl friend and his face was disfigured. When he took off his mask I felt yeah so what.
Ed Asner as Karl the exterminator added nothing to the story. He appears in the beginning and at the end of the play. Steve asks him if he believes in God and Karl says no and tells him why. At the end Karl has resolution and we find out why Steve was itching. Karl's part could have been left out and the other characters built up.
It had its funny moments but these scenes were far and few between.
I was looking forward to seeing this outstanding cast. I was let down by this show. However I'm thankful that this show is only running until January 6, 2013.
Review by Rozanna Radakovich
Photos by Annazor.