My Thoughts On DEAD MAN'S CELL PHONE At TheaterWorks

Wanna Be A Foster
Broadway Legend
joined:1/9/05
I am in Hartford for the weekend visiting my family, and I decided to catch a performance of the Hartford Theaterworks production of DEAD MAN'S CELL PHONE, a show that I missed last season at Playwright's Horizons in NYC.

I can only speak for the Theaterworks production, but I was blown away tonight.

The last play I saw by Sarah Ruhl was THE CLEAN HOUSE at Lincoln Center Theater, and I found it to be the best example of absurdist comedy I had ever seen. Lots of twists and plenty of unexpected laughter.

DEAD MAN'S CELL PHONE presented a completely different situation than was presented in THE CLEAN HOUSE, but the level of twists, laughter, and especially fine comedic acting were matched.

This production, impeccably directed by Rob Ruggiero, moves at a lightening-fast pace, with a game ensemble working beautifully hand in hand to deliver every line and facial expression to full effect.

Finnerty Steeves plays Jean, a plain woman thrust into an unusual situation, with a gawky ordinariness that keeps the audience in a grounded position as the quacky characters surrounding her on stage turn the storyline left, right, and upside town. Ms. Stevens approaches her role with the David Hyde Pierce style of line readings -- straight and honest -- allowing the language to appropriately catch the audience by surprise.

I highly recommend Connecticut theatergoers treat themselves to what is a sharply written, acted, and helmed evening of absurdism at its finest. Hats off to Theaterworks for producing a top notch production of a modern play and exposing Connecticut's theater folk to one of the most promising playwrights of her generation.
"Winning a Tony this year is like winning Best Attendance in third grade: no one will care but the winner and their mom."
-Kad

"I have also met him in person, and I find him to be quite funny actually. Arrogant and often misinformed, but still funny."
-bjh2114 (on Michael Riedel)