A Life: Yours, Mine, Nate’s, and even Gary’s
A brilliant turn by David Hyde Pierce; making us all love and care for this man, within moments. In Adam Bock’s delicious new play, A Life, Nate Martin (Pierce) speaks directly to us as if we are there for a coffee. But more like a close dear friend, when all our internal editing inside our head gets turned off, and we say what’s on our true mind. Unfiltered. It’s instantly engaging. Honest and pure; two things that he tells us he has trouble with. He tells us so many exquisite details. Simple uncomplicated ones about the noises outside, and more intimate ones, like having a hard time with intimacy. And love. And friends.
Under the precise and elegant direction of Anne Kauffman, we get to hear about all the moments that run through his (and our) head as he wanders through his days and around his apartment. We hear about his friends, and we then get to see him in action with his best friend. Brad Heberlee is fantastic as his buddy, Curtis. He is real, caring, and constant. And then, mainly because I really don’t want to tell you anything else about what happens in this wonderful 90 minute study of a life, we don’t hear anymore.
It’s as if we are turning the pages of a storybook, much like the glorious set design, flipping from the minutiae of one moment to another. It’s wildly engaging and deeply touching. Everyone in the cast gives us the purity of a life being lived. Pierce is simply outstanding pulling us in, as is Heberlee. Marinda Anderson (Joselyn) and Nedra McClyde (Allison) draw us into aspects of their lives and we get to hear about the wonder and the amazement of their day to day, ignoring all the death that surrounds them, and just turning another page forward in life. Lynne McCollough playing double duty touches our hearts with the smallest of gestures and moments. I give a great deal of credit to the playwright Bock for crafting such a marvelous and unique story, and presenting it to us with such a surprising and creative vantage point. The same can be said of the marvelous set (Laura Jellinek), lighting (Matt Frey), costumes (Jessica Pabst), and sound (Mikhail Fiksel). One doesn’t usually get to revel in the wonder of fantastic sound design like we are able to do here. It’s a testament to all the lives that are being lived around us. The quiet and the noise of all the lives that surround us, that we pay attention to, ignore, or simply tolerate. We are left wondering about our own life, the lives of others, and definitely wondering who and where Gary has gone?