We’ve always wanted to go see a play in New York City and we finally found one that caught our attention pretty quickly. BlacKkKlansman’s Adam Driver and The American’s Keri Russell put on powerful performances in the Off-Broadway production of Landford Wilson’s Burn This. The 2019 rendition was directed by Michael Mayer and produced by David Binder.
The play was meant to be a drama, but it did have those particular moments where it could be considered a comedy, due to the audience reactions and the lines spoken in the script.
Set in an apartment in lower Manhattan in the 1980s, Anna (Russell) is mourning the tragic loss of her dance partner, Robbie, who had passed away in a boating accident while on vacation with his partner. Robbie’s alcoholic brother, Pale (Driver), had a hard time dealing with the loss. Throughout the performance, Anna and Pale begin to form a relationship, causing tension between Anna and her boyfriend, Burton (David Furr).
The characters had conversations dealing with affairs, grieving, toxic relationships and more.
In the middle of the stage was a red couch and in the corner, there was an oven, with a view of other buildings out the window. The kitchen, bathroom, Anna’s bedroom, as well as other rooms, were all offset. The thing that caught our attention was why was there an oven in the living room when it wasn’t in the kitchen?
Once the play began, the lights come up and Anna was sitting on the floor of her apartment with a glass of alcohol in her hand. It was like I was watching a taping of a TV show. The main reason we wanted to see this performance was for Driver. His first appearance wasn’t in scene II, “Six weeks later, late at night.” Of course, we were a bit starstruck.
The main focus of the play was the brittle relationship between Anna and Pale. We weren’t sure if Pale was supposed to be a comedic or a dramatic character. He had a moody and loud personality. His loud voice projected through the entire theater, letting the audience know he was mourning the loss of his brother and how upset he was about the number of potholes in the city. It took Pale the longest to get through the grieving process. He would stumble in the apartment drunk and expect Anna to take care of him.
Overall, we enjoyed the performance. It was a different experience seeing our favorite actors in person rather than on TV. Both Keri Russell and Adam Driver played their characters very well, so much that it felt real. Both Russell and Driver brought their characters to life physically, mentally and emotionally in the best way.
If this sounds like a show for you, you can purchase tickets here! The show is now playing at the Hudson Theater through July 14th.
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