Next Play - The Pornographer's Daughter
|A Perfect Future, February 4 - March 6, 2011|
A Perfect Future
(Cherry Lane Theater; 178 seats)
An Andy Sandberg, Whitney Hoagland Edwards, and Neal-Rose Creations presentation of a play in two acts by David Hay. Directed by Wilson Milam.
Natalie Schiff-Hudson - Donna Bullock
John Hudson - Michael T. Weiss
Elliot Murphy - Daniel Oreskes
Mark Colvin - Scott Drummond
Standbys: Nicole Orth-Pallavicini, Conan McCarty, Markus Potter
Donna Bullock, Scott Drummond, Daniel Oreskes, Michael T. Weiss set for Off-Broadway's A Perfect Future
by Dan Bacalzo, Jan 6 2011, New York
Donna Bullock, Scott Drummond, Daniel Oreskes, and Michael T. Weiss will star in the world premiere production of A Perfect Future. The show will play an open-ended engagement Off-Broadway at the Cherry Lane Theatre, beginning February 4, with an opening on February 17. As previously reported, Tony Award-nominee Wilson Milam will direct.
In the play, New York power-couple John and Natalie are hosting a dinner for Elliot, a friend from their days as college radicals. Also invited to the party is Mark, a straight-laced young man from John's risk management firm. With the help of a few too many expensive bottles of wine, the group's past and their long buried secrets resurface.
The creative team will include Charles Corcoran (set), Michael McDonald (costumes), Ben Stanton (lights), and Daniel Kluger (sound).
Bullock has appeared on Broadway in Ragtime, A Class Act, and City of Angels. Drummond's credits include the Theatre for a New Audience production of Hamlet. Oreskes was seen last season in the Broadway revival of The Miracle Worker. Weiss's Off-Broadway credits include The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity and Scarcity; his numerous film and television credits include The Pretender, Jeffrey, and Days of Our Lives, and he currently plays a corrupt cop on CBS' Blue Bloods.
For more information and tickets, click here.
Donna Bullock, Scott Drummond, Daniel Oreskes, Michael T. Weiss Cast in Off-Broadway's Perfect Future
by Andrew Gans, 6 Jan 2011
Tony Award-winning producer Andy Sandberg (Hair, The Last Smoker in America) will present the world premiere of David Hay's A Perfect Future Off-Broadway next month.
Directed by Tony Award nominee Wilson Milam (The Lieutenant of Inishmore), performances are scheduled to begin Feb. 4 at the Cherry Lane Theater (38 Commerce Street) with an official opening Feb. 17.
The four-member cast comprises Donna Bullock (Ragtime, Against the Grain) as Natalie, Scott Drummond (Hamlet, All My Children) as Mark, Daniel Oreskes (Billy Elliot, The Miracle Worker) as Elliot and Michael T. Weiss (The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity, The Pretender) as John.
At its core, A Perfect Future, press note state, "explores the question of whether people can be married and truly love each other when their political persuasions are diametrically opposed. Set in 2005, the action takes place in the apartment of two well heeled New Yorkers, Natalie and John, who are hosting a dinner for Elliot, a friend from their days as college radicals. Also invited to the party is Mark, a straight-laced young man from John's risk management firm. Over the course of a raucous evening filled with wine and merriment, their basic belief systems are upended, as the four must come to terms with each other's true politics and behavior."
A Perfect Future was originally developed by Naked Angels.
David Hay's The Maddening Truth, about legendary writer Martha Gellhorn, had a successful Off-Broadway run at the Clurman Theatre. A graduate of the UCLA Film Theater and Television School and a cultural critic, Hay has also written and directed three films, including "Dirt Cheap."
The creative team includes Charles Corcoran (set), Michael McDonald (costumes), Ben Stanton (lights) and Daniel Kluger (sound). The production stage manager is Donald Fried.
Tickets are priced $69 and are now available online at www.telecharge.com or by calling (212) 239-6200, and beginning Jan. 31 will be available at The Cherry Lane Box Office. The theatre is located on the corner of Commerce and Bedford; just off of 7th Avenue; three blocks below Christopher Street.
Bullock, Drummond, Oreskes, Weiss Lead A Perfect Future, Begins 2/4
by BWW News Desk, Jan 6 2011
Tony Award-winning producer Andy Sandberg (Hair, The Last Smoker in America) has announced the full cast for the world premiere of the provocative new play, A Perfect Future, by David Hay (The Maddening Truth) with direction by Tony Award-nominee Wilson Milam (The Lieutenant of Inishmore). The four-member cast features Donna Bullock (Ragtime, "Against the Grain") as Natalie, Scott Drummond (Hamlet, "All My Children") as Mark, Daniel Oreskes (Billy Elliot, The Miracle Worker) as Elliot, and Michael T. Weiss (The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity, "The Pretender") as John.
Performances begin on Friday, February 4, 2011 for an open-ended engagement at the Cherry Lane Theatre (38 Commerce Street). Opening night is set for Thursday, February 17, 2011.
A Perfect Future is a darkly comic and provocative play that explores the question of whether people can be married and truly love each other when their political persuasions are diametrically opposed. This high-society evening is about to turn into a night of sexually charged mind-games that could change their lives forever. New York power-couple John and Natalie are hosting a dinner for Elliot, a friend from their days as college radicals. Also invited to the party is Mark, a straight-laced young man from John's risk management firm. With the help of a few too many expensive bottles of wine, the group's past and their long buried secrets resurface. Over the course of this raucous evening, their basic belief systems are upended, as the four must come to terms with each other's true politics and behavior.
Wilson Milam, the Tony Award-nominated director of Martin McDonagh's The Lieutenant of Inishmore, returns to New York to direct the World Premiere of David Hay's compelling new play. A Perfect Future was developed under the auspices of Naked Angels, whose production of Next Fall received a Tony Award nomination for Best Play.
The creative team includes Charles Corcoran (Set), Michael McDonald (Costumes), Ben Stanton (Lights), Daniel Kluger (Sound) and Pat McCorkle (Casting). The Production Stage Manager is Donald Fried.
A Perfect Future will play the following schedule February 4 - 27: Tuesdays - Fridays at 8:00 p.m., Saturdays at 2:00 p.m. & 8:00 p.m. and Sundays at 3:00 p.m. & 7:00 p.m. Please note: There are no matinee performances on February 5 & 6. Beginning February 28, the schedule will change to: Mondays & Tuesdays at 8:00 p.m., dark on Wednesdays, Thursdays & Fridays at 8:00 p.m., Saturdays at 2:00 p.m. & 8:00 p.m. and Sundays at 3:00 p.m. & 7:00 p.m.
Tickets are priced at $69.00 and are now available online at www.telecharge.com, or by calling (212) 239-6200, and beginning January 31 will be available at The Cherry Lane Box Office (38 Commerce Street).
Commercial Off Broadway sees 'Future' - New play to open at the Cherry Lane
by Gordon Cox, posted: Fri., Jan. 7, 2011, 4:00am PT
Wilson Milam ("The Lieutenant of Inishmore") will helm a commercial Off Broadway production of "A Perfect Future," a new play by David Hay.
Michael T. Weiss ("The Pretender"), Daniel Oreskes, Donna Bullock and Scott Drummond star in the show, about a Gotham dinner party that raises the question of whether a couple can stay married despite opposing political viewpoints.
Commercial Off Broadway productions are rare these days, largely due to what producers see as the inhospitable economics of the Off Broadway scene.
Andy Sandberg, one of the producers of the recent revival of "Hair," produces "Future," set to begin previews Feb. 4 ahead of a Feb. 17 opening.
Contact Gordon Cox at firstname.lastname@example.org
The role of John Hudson is described as follows, on this page announcing the auditions:
Mid - late 50s. A former radical, now turned highly successful Wall Street financier. Urbane to the extreme. Very much in control of every situation he’s in, including besting the Eastern European businessmen who now make up most of his clientele. Never brings his work home, a venue where he is free to be seen as a true lover of life: European vacations, his wine collection, fine dining and the art of good conversation. Smart and humorous and a good guy, he is in charge of everything - save, perhaps, his marriage.
Source: Audition Center---
A Perfect Future's Donna Bullock, Scott Drummond, Daniel Oreskes, and Michael T. Weiss meet the press
by Tristan Fuge, Jan 18, 2011, New York
On Tuesday, January 18, cast members Donna Bullock, Scott Drummond, Daniel Oreskes, and Michael T. Weiss met with members of the press at the Primary Stages Rehearsal Studio in New York at the first rehearsal for the world premiere production of A Perfect Future. The show will play an open-ended engagement Off-Broadway at the Cherry Lane Theatre, beginning February 4, with an opening on February 17. Tony Award-nominee Wilson Milam will direct.
In the play, New York power-couple John and Natalie are hosting a dinner for Elliot, a friend from their days as college radicals. Also invited to the party is Mark, a straight-laced young man from John's risk management firm. With the help of a few too many expensive bottles of wine, the group's past and their long buried secrets resurface. This high-society evening is about to turn into a night of sexually charged mind-games that could change their lives forever.
Wine is the scene-stealing fifth character in this four-hander play. Some of the wines currently incorporated into the script of A Perfect Future include 1976 Penfolds Grange, 1996 Louis Jadot Gevrey-Chambertin, Chateau Cheval Blanc, Chateau d'Yquem and an Oregon Pinot.
The creative team will include Charles Corcoran (set), Michael McDonald (costumes), Ben Stanton (lights), and Daniel Kluger (sound).
Photos from the 1st day of rehearsals: Playwright David Hay, producer Andy Sandberg, actors Michael T. Weiss, Donna Bullock, Daniel Oreskes, Scott Drummond and director Wilson Milam pose for the cameras on January 18.
See my album.
Note the marks on the floor, which show the future spots of walls, doors, furniture and other props, once the production will have moved to its permanent location at the Cherry Lane Theatre.
First of the previews: Some pictures of a happily smiling Mike, a funny winter cap and fellow cast member Daniel Oreskes taken after the first of the previews of "A Perfect Future" on February 4, in the cold night outside of the Cherry Lane Theatre. They are copyright protected, so I only link to the website hosting them.
On Feb. 12 the Cherry Lane Theatre released the first official production photos.
Opening night was on February 17.
Of those reviews that are so-so at best, I only use some quotes and link to the full reviews. But even in them at least Michael and the other actors as well, get some compliments for their work.
Those reviews that are positive I post in full, the others in the excerpts which are positively mentioning Michael.
All sorted by date, the first ones on top.
A Perfect Future
(Cherry Lane Theater; 178 seats; $69 top)
by Marilyn Stasio
From T.S. Eliot to Tracy Letts, the Dinner Party from Hell has always been a reliable set-up for the kind of brittle, sophisticated dramedy that David Hay thinks he's penned in "A Perfect Future." Scribe does, in fact, follow the classic formula by setting up a dinner party for three old friends who were political radicals in their flaming youth - and by tossing in one unexpected guest to shake them up. But the situation is so contrived that everything about these insufferably smug characters screams bogus-bogus-bogus and every word out of their mouths sounds phoney-phoney-phoney. ...
Hay ("The Maddening Truth") has the knives out for Wall Street moneybags John Hudson (Michael T. Weiss), and his wife, Natalie (Donna Bullock), an award-winning documentary filmmaker. ...
Reviewed Feb. 15, 2011. Posted: Thu., Feb. 17, 2011
Making the "Perfect Future" Sizzle
by Mark Blankenship, Feb. 17, 2011
How a playwright and director turned dense political ideas into crackling theatre
Say you're grappling with big ideas about how leftist idealism from the 1960s has transformed in the new millennium. Say you noticed that in the middle of the aughts, when Bush-era economic flagrancy was at its peak, the world seemed to warp progressive thoughts into tools for greed. And now, say you're a playwright. How do you turn those ideas into theatre? Instead of presenting them like a classroom lecture, how do you make them sizzle?
Ask David Hay, whose dark comedy A Perfect Future opens tomorrow at The Cherry Lane Theatre. The show charts an explosive dinner party in 2005 hosted by a New York power couple - John and Natalie - who spent the sixties as college radicals. With their old friend Elliot and Mark, John's young colleague from his risk-management firm, they drink far too much wine and spill some terrible secrets about the people they've become.
All the characters are passionate about their values, and when they realize how deeply they disagree with each other, they vigorously defend their beliefs. This leads to provocative statements about Marx, capitalism, the state of the post-Boomer generation, and the presence of racism in the modern workplace.
On one level, those ideas are compelling by themselves. "The whole thing that drew me to the play was the idea that a capitalist businessman can turn Marx on his head and use him for capitalist market domination instead of social and economic freedom," says director Wilson Milam, who was Tony-nominated for helming Martin McDonagh's The Lieutenant of Inishmore. "Where do the ideals go? Do they go away? And is that bad? Was it realistic in the first place? Hopefully, you go away thinking about all those questions."
Hay feels an emotional undercurrent in the debates. "One of the things that's elemental about the play is the position of ideas in a relationship and whether you can have a relationship with somebody whose fundamental ideas about the world are opposite from yours," he says. "My parents, in their polite fashion, were on opposite ends of the political spectrum. The idea that two people could be married for nearly sixty years and have diametrically opposed political ideas was something I found odd."
Underneath the specifics of post-sixties liberalism, the playwright also notes a universal conflict. "You could transpose the story to, say, two young Israeli kids who grew up pro-Palestinian, and now thirty years later, one of them is pro-Israeli," he says. "The paradigm could shift to a different situation."
Still, something human needs to connect those arguments. Hay's script includes saucy sexual revelations and an unsettling twist at the end of act one, and he credits Milam with nurturing other subtle elements: "When I was writing, I often got sidetracked by following the ideas instead of the people. Wilson has brought a sense of how the people actually interact and relate. Hopefully, the potential for that was there in the play, but it wasn't evidenced in some of the earlier drafts."
Milam has focused on teasing out the physical comedy in the play. It turns out, for instance, that there's gold in watching four adults drink all night.
"They open a lot of wine bottles, pour a lot of glasses of wine," the director says. "We've discovered the humor in that, about fresh glasses and not fresh glasses and losing your glass and how do you find your glass amongst thirty on stage. Those are bits of physical reality that are quite charming."
Those bits have drawn preview crowds closer to the play. Hay says, "It's really evident that the audience tracks [the wine]. If somebody's putting the fifth bottle of wine into a glass they've already used, then the audience knows.
He adds, "One thing that's interesting to me is the structure of jokes and how things play through. It's richer when you come back to it a second time."
Mark Blankenship is TDF's online content editor.
Source: Theatre Development Fund
A Perfect Future
reviewed by Erik Haagensen
Feb. 17, 2011
Playwright David Hay juggles a variety of potential clichés in this comedy-drama about a drunken reunion of three former Marxist radicals, one gay and still in the political trenches and the other two straight and married and funding left-wing causes through his obscene income from a Wall Street brokerage. "A Perfect Future" is thin but reasonably entertaining for an act and a half, then goes spectacularly off the rails, over the cliff, and smashes to bits on the rocks below. ...
Hay is fortunate to have a quartet of talented actors who manage to keep their characters' emotions believable even when their behavior isn't. Daniel Oreskes' Elliott is suffused with middle-aged regret yet convincing in his determination to continue the good fight, and the actor excels at registering the delight Elliott takes in being with Natalie, with whom he once had a brief affair. Michael T. Weiss is a charismatic, intense John, the echt golden-boy WASP, with Weiss working diligently in the early scenes to provide subtextual hints of the crackup to come. Scott Drummond's Mark is suitably nervous, on his best behavior for the boss, then properly panicked when he makes a serious social faux pas that endangers his career. Best of all is Donna Bullock, whom I've admired since seeing her early work in shows like Equity Library Theatre's revival of "Plain and Fancy" and the Off-Broadway musical version of "Portrait of Jennie." Bullock's Natalie is a radiant mixture of sexuality and smarts leavened with midlife ennui; it's immediately apparent why men are so drawn to her. And when the play turns into a bargain-basement "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?," Bullock is impressive in her ability to go to dark places even as we observe the playwright's ham-fisted manipulations. ...
A comedy of radical changes
Joe Dziemianowicz, Feb. 17, 2011
In David Hay's dark comedy "A Perfect Future", John (Michael T. Weiss), a well-heeled Wall Streeter, and his filmmaker wife, Natalie (Donna Bullock), host a dinner for Elliot (Daniel Oreskes), an old friend from their days as college extremists. Also on hand for some radicalism-redux and risotto is a surprise guest, Mark (Scott Drummond), a rising young exec at John's firm.
John collects fine wine. Before you can say "essential Burgundy", the vino flows. (I lost count at 12 bottles). As it pours, the conversation and conduct goes from politely bottled-up to brazenly uncensored to poisonously racist.
Playing characters with booze to unleash true characters is a familiar, perhaps too familiar, device. On the plus side, Hay's dialogue is sharp and funny, and there's something neatly ironic about ex-revolutionaries all are in need of sweeping changes.
Director Wilson Milam guides the production with a sure hand, from its move-in-ready Manhattan apartment designed by Charles Concoran to its fine cast who are all up to par - or in one case, even better. Delivering a performance that's sexy, smart, and completely natural Donna Bullock is, simply, a corker.
Source: Nex York Daily News
'A Perfect Future' yields sour grapes
Thursday, Feb. 17, 2011
by Michael Sommers
Rich liberals spill their phony guts in a bogus new drama ...
Source: New Jersey Newsroom
A Perfect Future
review by Sarah Lucie
"You can't change the world sober." The wine enthusiast in us all raises a glass in agreement, although the truth of the statement is questionable. But one fact experience has taught us, and A Perfect Future proves, is even a single drunken evening can change at least our own world dramatically.
David Hay's world premiere play, directed by Wilson Milam, tells the story of power couple John and Natalie, played by Michael T. Weiss and Donna Bullock, and their casual dinner party with college friend and rebel Elliot, and up-and-coming Wall Street associate Mark. But the more bottles of wine pillaged, the more exciting the night turns out to be, and the more game-changing secrets are revealed.
Donna Bullock gives a heart-breaking performance, embodying a growing sense of defeat that burrows into the audience’s hearts. Weiss is equally affecting as a wealthy Wall Street type whose ideals and morals couldn't stand up to the allure of thousand-dollar bottles of wine and a house from the pages of an Ethan Allen catalogue (which we get a glimpse of thanks to the masterful workings of set designer Charles Corcoran). Daniel Oreskes as Elliot skillfully reflects the audience's discomfort turned horror as the world around him dissolves, and Scott Drummond as Mark morphs from endearingly awkward to starkly honest before our eyes. But perhaps the most notable performance is the ensemble as a whole. Their group chemistry layers the play with so many hurt silences, stolen glances, sexual desires and deeply hidden pain that I literally could not tear my eyes away.
The action is so captivating, in fact, that the last moment left me in a daze, reeling from the emotional roller coaster ride. But with some processing, Hay's multiple themes expose themselves, with every question leading to exponentially more. Is it possible for two people with diametrically opposed ideals to have a loving relationship? Are we all hypocrites, pontificating about the needs of Darfur refugees while drinking away thousands of dollars? Is there any world where money is not the core trigger? (Even the noble Elliot, working for equal rights, is only here for the elusive signed check.) And perhaps most importantly, is it possible to continue living your comfortable routine, even after learning your entire life has been a lie? Reality and idealism may be irreconcilable.
David Hay has delivered a darkly comic American tragedy that is all too familiar, communicating a truth that leaves a pit in your stomach. You have to see it and feel it for yourself.
Source: Show Business Weekly
A Perfect Future
reviewed by Sandy MacDonald · Feb. 18, 2011 · New York
Drop signifiers such as "Bertolucci" and "Volvo" into the opening salvo, as David Hay does in his new play A Perfect Future, now premiering at the Cherry Lane, and we know we have been placed squarely in the land of the limousine liberal. ...
The source of Natalie's evidently ample funds are soon made clear; her husband, John Hudson (Michael T. Weiss), has made a killing in the field of risk management. While Weiss skews a bit young for the role (moreover, many of the play's allusions suggest 1960s activism, rather than the 1970s aftermath), he certainly conveys the panache of a modern-day captain of industry. The real oddity is that Natalie doesn't seem to have caught on to the fact that she is married to a capitalist pig. ...
A Perfect Future @ Cherry Hill Theatre
by Tim Needles, Fri, Feb. 18, 2011
Wine has a tendency to illicit the truth from people and it's not usually pretty, such is the case in David Hay's new play A Perfect Future, which is currently being staged at the legendary Cherry Hill Theatre in the West Village. The story is set in 2005 and follows a group of old friends as they reunite for a dinner party and recall the activism, sex, and drugs of their youth. Husband and wife, John (Michael T Weiss) and Natalie (Donna Bullock) reconnect with Elliot (Daniel Oreskes) in part because an old activist friend has landed in prison and as the trio is in the midst of catching up they are interrupted by another guest, Mark (Scott Drummond), one of John's employees who he spontaneously invited. As the evening draws on, the half empty wine glasses begin to litter the table with the density of a Seurat painting and the social tension gives way to reality awakening the participants to truths about each other that change each of their perceptions.
The play is potent in its message as it asks questions about the true nature of relationships, honesty, and friendship and at the same time the succinct writing has a relatable quality. The ensemble cast manages a wonderful versatility as they weave through dark comic moments to starkly dramatic notes organically. Overall, the play makes a great impact while keeping the audience entertained and succeeds in examining the fractures that often exist at the heart of any relationship.
A Perfect Future is running at Cherry Hill Theatre.
For more information and to purchase tickets, go to http://www.aperfectfuture.com/
Wine-soaked dinner party in 'A Perfect Future'
by Jennifer Farrar, Feb. 22, 2011, 4:43pm
While not exactly the dinner party from hell, a dinner with three middle-aged longtime friends who were radical political activists in college is thrown off-kilter by the last-minute arrival of a 30-year-old employee of the host.
David Hay's new play "A Perfect Future" is a wine-soaked culture clash between Generation Apathy and a trio of baby boomers, who thought they could improve the world through protest. Barbs are also slung at checkbook liberals, in this sometimes-tense drama currently premiering off-Broadway at The Cherry Lane Theatre.
At the Manhattan apartment of wealthy couple Natalie (Donna Bullock) and John Hudson (Michael T. Weiss), Natalie greets their old friend Elliot (Daniel Oreskes), just arrived from California. Natalie and Elliot happily reminisce about their college days of activism, open sex, enthusiastic drug use, and their "Das Kapital" reading group, while waiting for John to arrive home for dinner from the investment firm where he's a partner.
Elliot has devoted his working life to liberal causes, especially after losing his gay lover to AIDS 16 years earlier. Natalie makes occasional documentaries about oppressed people, while John is a powerful financier with his own wine collection and a personal sommelier. The couple still gives money to liberal causes, while Natalie regretfully wishes she were "still in the trenches."
Their latest cause is raising money for the legal defense of another old college "compadre," a former Black Panther turned health care advocate, who's been arrested on federal terrorism charges. When John arrives home, he unexpectedly brings along Mark, a junior associate that he thinks might amuse Elliot.
Oreskes is dignified and grounded as Elliot, the moral center of the play, watching bemusedly as John opens bottle after bottle of expensive wine from his beloved wine closet with much fanfare. Weiss plays the pompous, possessive John with polite condescension and smugly casual arrogance.
Bullock is brittle and emotional as Natalie, who seems cheerful at first but is soon tossing back way too much wine. She blames her depression on a long-term creative block with her much-delayed documentary about genocide in Rwanda in the mid-1990s, but it's soon apparent that her unhappiness is more personal.
Scott Drummond is nicely on edge as Mark, gamely trying to hold his own socially while in the boss' home. Clearly out of his depth, he seems unable to prevent himself from making downright stupid or inappropriate comments. When Natalie asks him what his passions are, he lamely replies, "music, dancing and the Internet," then performs an overly suggestive dance with his hostess.
Declaring that his generation is "a lot funnier than you guys were," he inexplicably blurts out a racist punch-line that goes against everything the others have been discussing, shutting down the already strained bonhomie.
Wilson Milam has straightforwardly directed his fine cast to develop some layers within each character. Even Mark isn't a complete blockhead, as Act 2 reveals. The absurdly wine-soaked evening takes a few twists and turns, building some tension among the characters until, fairly predictably, the married couple both explode with pent-up hostilities.
The beautifully appointed living room, designed by Charles Corcoran, is a tasteful backdrop to the empty emotional lives of its inhabitants. Hay has created the sort of strained social evening where, along with the uncomfortable dinner guests, the audience might wish the hostess gets a headache sooner rather than later.
Source: Washington Examiner
'A Perfect Future' provides plenty of drama
Thursday, Feb. 24, 2011
by Joseph Cervelli, columnist
Some people just never learn that one of the two topics which should not be discussed in mixed company is politics. Mark that conversation along with consuming about 10 or so glasses of different wines and you are in for some rough times ahead. Apparently, the two hosts of a dinner party in the hard hitting, if imperfect, "A Perfect Future" at the Cherry Lane were unaware of that fact.
Fairly new playwright David Hay goes in some directions that become strained, but overall I admired this fascinating and sometimes harsh work.
Natalie (Donna Bullock) and John (Michael T. Weiss) Hudson are quite wealthy thanks to John's Wall Street company. He seems to fall into the Gordon Gecko mode of "greed is good" mentality. In their youth they were radicals at Berkeley with John being a Communist and Natalie taking on different liberal causes.
She is a film maker currently working on a docudrama on Rwanda but hitting some stumbling blocks. It does not help that she dabbles in mixing anti-depressants and alcohol. Of course with John being a devout oenophile she just cannot resist the temptation. Their gay friend Elliot (David Oreskes), still a raging Marxist, has come over to enlist Natalie to join a committee to help release an ex-Black Panther/current activist accused of being a terrorist. John has invited his straight-laced though gay younger employee Mark (Scott Drummond) to the dinner.
Mark dressed very yuppie like looks like he could easily be a spokesman for the Log Cabin Republicans. The three friends come to odds with Mark who derides the wanton ways of his hosts. Things begin to unravel when Mark tells a joke with the punch line being a vicious racial epithet.
The second act almost becomes a kind of "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf" with John most especially going for the jugular. Under the fierce direction of Wilson Milam things mount up to a feverish pitch, although with the play being only 90 minutes including an unnecessary intermission, it slows down the full impact.
A few things do seem out of sync and come across too pat. While it is understandable that Mark and Elliot eventually come to a common ground, the former's physical attraction to Elliott never seems believable. Coming to agreement on some issues makes sense, but the sexual aspect comes too suddenly to be convincing. Also, when we discover what John has become it feels like an overreach especially because it not only comes out of left field but too extreme.
The four actors are excellent. Bullock plays the jittery Natalie with conviction while Oreskes plays the left wing Elliot with a certain amount of what Mark describes as being "smug" to perfection. Drummond looks and acts the part of a new employee being slightly nervous meeting his boss's wife. Weiss always plays as the most obnoxious character to the hilt as witnessed in roles of some of his other shows.
Despite some of the reservations I have, Hay is a welcome addition to the New York theater scene and he does touch upon some varied issues.
With the ruckus that ensures by the end of the show I began to wonder if indeed all those bottles that were open did contain wine.
Tickets are available at the Cherry Lane Theater 38 Commerce St. or by calling 212-239-6200.
In vino veritas? Would that it were so simple. In David Hay's "A Perfect Future" at the Cherry Lane, former '60s activists and a younger acquaintance guzzle gallons of wine on the road to truth. They don't exactly reach their destination.
It's not that the characters or performances are inauthentic. Michael T. Weiss is especially convincing as John, a Marx-quoting radical turned financier. ... All [actors] are generally credible, including Bullock's Natalie, who is delightful but played larger than the role calls for. ...
Source: Metro, to be published: March 1, 2011
Goings On About Town: The Theatre
A Perfect Future @ The Cherry Lane Theatre
In David Hay's slick play - a sort of "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf" of sixties counterculture - the days of protest and orgies are fondly invoked by a bibulous group of friends now in the world of pure money and pure despair. Over the course of a drunken evening, radical chic becomes radical pique. Particularly convincing are Donna Bullock as the manic wife and Michael T. Weiss as her smug, suave husband. Well directed by Wilson Milam.
Previews began February 4, with the official opening on February 17, closes March 6, 2011.
Source: The New Yorker, date in print: March 7, 2011---
These photos are watermarked, so I only link to the website hosting them:
Premiere party at the City Winery on Feb 17, 2011
The photos in my Stage, curtain call & party album are without marks, but please mind the Copyright.
Feb. 22, 2011: Video Sneak Peek with the cast of A Perfect Future
What becomes of a generation's young idealists? That's the central question in David Hay's A Perfect Future.
If you click on the image of Mike below, you'll see a chat with the cast and the playwright during the press meeting on January 18, and get a glimpse of A Perfect Future on stage. Video courtesy of Broadway.com - but might take a while to load.