We’re working on that

This evening was the third time I have seen Lanford Wilson’s play Burn This on Broadway. The first time was the original production with John Malkovich in the leading role of Pale.

The second time, that role was played by Ed Norton. This evening, the same role was played by Adam Driver.

It amazes me how different these productions are. Each time the same character, each time the same words, yet each time an entirely different outcome.

It is great to have the luxury to compare. And I must say, having now seen the interpretations by Norton and Driver, both of whom are excellent stage actors, I am far more appreciative of the original.

Even across the memory of all these years, I can still feel the elemental power and subtlety of Malkovich’s performance. His portrayal digs deep into a character whom it is all too easy to render as a caricature.

It’s a shame there is no good way to capture for posterity a live theater performance, while keeping all of its subtlety and sense of presence intact. Fortunately, we’re working on that. 🙂

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