Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Dinner and Drama

Natalie Portman as Dawn Weston

So, I invited Natalie and John over for dramatic readings of Closure. I think it went fairly well, except Natalie brought Dustin Hoffman with her; they're acting in some new movie together about a magical toy store called Mr. So-and-So's Magical Toy Emporium or some such. Hoffman wasn't really invited, but when Natalie Portman brings a guest, you are gracious. So, I handed out the scripts, and explained the characters and what the situation was. John Lithgow played Wilbur Weston and Natalie played Dawn Weston and I thought their reading was brilliant. Dustin starts clapping and then after a pause says to John Lithgow, "Tell me about Dawn's mother." John does a little improv developing some back story on his wife. But then Dustin starts grilling Lithgow: "Where was your first date? How long were you married? What was her most annoying habit? Does Dawn have the same annoying trait?" By the end of it, Lithgow was in tears crumpled on my living room carpet and crawling feebly under the piano.

Hoffman turned to me and snarled, "You call yourself a director?" He took over. In the end, I was glad he did. It turns out that Dustin Hoffman is a huge Mary Worth fan. The second reading was so compelling and so powerful, and so far exceeded any of our expectations, that we all just wept when it was over. Then we group-hugged and sang, "What I Did for Love" from A Chorus Line while Dustin played the piano.

1 comment:

Biscuit Carroll said...

I wish I'd been there. How extraordinary.