Monday, March 19, 2018

Margin Notes: Tilda Swinton Answers an Ad on Craiglist

Byron Lane and Tom Lenk as Walt and Tilda Swinton.

Seen on: Saturday, 3/17/18.
My grade: B+

Plot and Background
Rejected and depressed, Walt is on the brink of suicide when Tilda Swinton - supposedly answering a craigslist ad placed by Walt's ex-boyfriend - arrives to upend his life as she pursues what is sure to be her next Oscar-winning performance. Playwright and star Byron Lane brings his farce to New York after a successful run at LA's Celebration Theater.

What I Knew Beforehand
I'm a big ol' Buffy nerd (see: my other blog), and was very excited to see Tom Lenk be silly in something.


This was exactly the ridiculously fun and silly play I thought it was going to be. While there is a narrative of growth and change for poor Walt, beset on all sides by neglectful parents and a callous ex (to say nothing of his new Oscar-winning roomie), most of the fun to be had comes in the person of Tom Lenk's outrageous performance as Ms. Swinton. Tilda here seems to a glorious melding of the eccentric and celebrated film star, the absurdist/dadaist twitter account @NotTildaSwinton, and Tom Lenk's own social media fashion brand, LewkBewk. Which delightful eccentricity of Tilda's to choose as your favorite? Is it when she declares that she was in the movie Die Hard (she played Christmas)? Is it when, upon being told that someone has merely read The Chronicles of Narnia but not seen the film, and she hastily averts her eyes, muttering "Trash!" Is it when she tells literally everyone she meets that they remind her of someone, who just happens to be a role she has played, and how many times they seen that movie? Is it when she steals a patron's flagon of beer and painstakingly downs the whole thing? Or is it her entrance in a hooded cape made of bubble wrap? That's rather hard to beat. Tom Lenk is perfection in a role he seems born to play, delivering the most absurd lines with conviction and deep gravitas.


Running: Now playing at The Laurie Beechman Theatre - Opening: March 16, 2018. Closing: March 25, 2018.
Category: comedy
Length: 1 hour, 20 minutes, no intermission.

Creative Team

Playwright: Byron Lane
Director: Tom DeTrinis
Cast: Tom Lenk, Byron Lane, Jayne Entwistle, Mark Jude Sullivan.

1 comment:

  1. I completely loved this play, and I saw it the same night you did.. I laughed the entire time. Every line had a purpose, which was to make you laugh. I thought Tom Lenk was brilliant - nailed every line. I think you skimped on the grade. I would have gone with "A." I think they should have main-streamed this play rather than put it in a niche, small theater. It has something for everyone.