17 September 2005

Coming and going

An important rule of theater is that if you entrance is deep into Act IV (or what substitutes for Act IV in modern American theater, Act II short scene umpty-ump) then the memorableness of that entrance must be a square of the number of minutes it occurs after the Act II curtain. Michael Willis is currently appearing in "After Ashley" at Woolly Mammoth theater and in a show chock full of excellent performances, his was a real eye catcher. He strolled in complete with walking stick, Panama Hat, and savoir faire as though the late Truman Capote had never left us. Actually "strolled" doesn't really describe his locomation, which savored of a runway model wearing several times your annual salary on her back. As every other actor was doing the "I'm not on yet so you can't see me" approach, his lordly, well, mince would be too strong a word but I can't think of a better one, caught and held the eye.

Interestingly enough, he also got the best exit I've seen in quite a while several months ago during "Melissa Artic" when he got to bring to life the best stage direction in all of Shakespeare.


Maureen said...

Hmm; "swagger", "saunter", "sashay"...?

And which, pray tell, is the "best stage direction in all of Shakespeare"?

Leta said...

"Exit, pursued by a bear" from The Winter's Tale, Act III, scene iii.