It’s Friday, but I’m not back from Washington yet, so OGIC is posting my weekly Wall Street Journal drama-column teaser by remote control from her headquarters in the Windy City.
Whenever I see J. Smith-Cameron’s name on a cast list, I smile, knowing that whatever horrors may await me, I can count on seeing at least one worthwhile performance. The real-life wife of playwright-filmmaker Kenneth Lonergan, who is directing her in his second movie this fall, Ms. Smith-Cameron is one of those actors who never fails, as theater people say, to deliver the mail. She’s smart, sharp, and possessed of the bull’s-eye timing that can turn a fair joke into a killer. She plays three widely varied roles in “After the Night and the Music,” the Manhattan Theatre Club’s triple bill of new one-act plays by Elaine May, and does it so well that she almost fools you into thinking the show is better than it really is….
Playwrights Horizons wraps up an uneven season with Julia Cho’s flawed but promising “BFE.” (I wish I could tell you what the initials stand for, but the Journal is a family paper.) Centered on a Korean-American family living in an unnamed Arizona city, “BFE” is a hodgepodge of variously interesting ideas about postmodern American life, directed by Gordon Edelstein with a speed and fluidity that keep most of Ms. Cho’s dramatic balls in the air for longer than she had any right to expect. Though I wasn’t convinced by the touches of fantasy, much less the climactic swerve into melodrama, I was never bored….
No link. The alternatives are as per usual: (A) Buy today’s paper and read the whole thing. (B) Subscribe to the Online Journal by going here. (A) is cheaper, (B) the better deal.