Well, I am a nervous wreck, having just seen Equus seven times in nine days, but I wanted to post about something wonderful you can do, next time you see the show.
All the theatres on Broadway are now collecting for Broadway Cares, and one of the cast shushes the audience at the curtain call and reads out a message about there being a ‘friendly competition’ between productions from now until December… and that we can contribute by putting some money in the buckets that the cast members will be holding on our way out.
I saw the show twice on Saturday, plus on Sunday, and Kate Mulgrew, Carolyn McCormick and a horse read the message out, so maybe Dan does it after some shows… except that he rushed straight off into the wings, with Anna Camp, while we were listening, and they brought on a fully signed poster and a fully signed Playbill, which are on sale in the foyer – $100 for the Playbill, $250 for the poster – and Dan paraded around with the poster like the ‘models’ with the round numbers during boxing matches!
Anyway, it’s the parents and the horses with the collecting buckets and AIDS ribbons, not Dan and Richard, obviously, as the stampede would be dangerous, and they were all very enthusiastic, and gracious – both about the campaign, and any compliments that you – and by you, I mean me – may babble at them.
If you would like to read more about my thoughts on this new production, then click on the ‘Read more’ link below…
I saw the London production an… unlikely number of times, and was very nervous about any changes, ‘though I tried to trust them not to change anything for change’s sake.
I was really pleased to be able to babble at T. Ryder Smith, who plays the father, as he gave me my AIDS ribbon, because I was thrilled with the portrayal of the parents, this time round. They are far more tactile than their London counterparts – both of them touching young Alan during the not watching television flashback, tickling him during the beach flashback, holding each other tight after first talking to Dysart.
How much worse is it that this happy family was ripped apart by their son’s problems?
The dynamic between Hester and Dysart was far warmer, too, much like it was in the recent British touring production. She touched him, she kissed him on each cheek, she really cared that he was suffering, too. Heartwarming.
The horses were even more athletic during the blinding scene, and Lorenzo Pisoni was breathtaking. He was ridiculously strong and athletic, or gentle and intimate, as necessary, and had an impecable English accent as the Young Horseman. There is a new scene between Alan and Nugget, while Dysart and Dalton talk about Alan working at the stables, that is the most tender and intimate thing I have ever witnessed on stage.
Richard Griffiths was incredible. All of the random people we sat beside and quizzed after the show were blown away by his ability to make every line seem like natural speech; his hesiations and stumbling words were so human, so weary, so upsetting. It’s an honour to be able to watch his performance.
As it is to watch Dan growing into such a confident stage actor. His every word, tone, inflection and twitch is clear and natural and his concentration is unbelievable. His scenes with Richard are simply electric; his ability to switch back and forth between troubled teen and happy six-year-old a joy.
His painful recreation of the final breakdown is raw and awful and heartbreaking, and I want to snatch Alan up at ‘it was lovely, oh, it was lovely’ and wrap him in his blanket and take him away before everything goes wrong.