February 2, 2002
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Another opening of another show

Linda and I subscribe to the first premier of the American Repertory Theater. This saves money, gives us a chance to say 'Hi' to Robert Brustein, and means that when ART does a new play, the script will always be published with a note about the cast of that very first performance.

Last night's debut was Adam Rapp's Stone Cold Dead Serious, and it's a hell of a play. (A surprise, Rapp's much-honored Nocture from last year isn't a play at all, but rather a short story uncomfortably lodged on stage) It's very much in the tradition of Long Days Journey and Death of a Salesman, but Stone Cold Dead Serious is very new and almost (but not quite) unbearable. Elizabeth Reaser does a wonderful job with two impossible parts, the addicted, manipulative, big sister and the brilliant but mute girlfriend.

It might be interesting, I think, to see this again at the end of the run. I sense a hint of problems in the third act; perhaps they'll be gone after another performance or two.

ART artistic director observes that new plays are a headache here in New England, where people love classics and won't risk world premieres. New York is the opposite, he notes, for New Yorkers aren't eager for classic drama but flock to see what's new.