Sunday, July 23, 2006

The play's the thing

So I get a ticket to The History Boys, but when I hit the theatre I discover that Richard Griffiths and Frances de la Tour are on hiatus from the play. Aw, shoot, thinks I. I like seeing the originals in the cast, and this put a bit of a damper on it for me.

My seat, however, is front and center. (No, really. Front row, center.) What the hell, it's Alan Bennett and won all kinds of Tonys, etc., so Griffiths/de la Tour or no, it's probably worth it. Well, yes, it was. Desmond Barrit and Maggie Steed were marvelous in the Griffiths/de la Tour roles.

The big question "What is education?" soaked up every corner of the script. Is it facts and figures? Artistic impression of the facts and figures? A denial of all facts and figures, giving it a personal spin? "Real" life? A combo of all/some of the above? What do you think?

At any rate, the boys were the real stars of this play. Fabulous performances by all. And any play that offers renditions of "Bewitched, Bothered, and Bewildered," "Bye Bye Blackbird," and "Wish Me Luck As You Wave Me Goodbye," not to mention excerpts from Brief Encounter and Now, Voyager certainly has my vote.

A lot to think about, but not tedious. I want to get my hands on the play and read it for myself. Then see it again. Point is, in this case, it doesn't really matter who is in the play (as long as they are good) - the play is the thing.