BWW Reviews: MY PERFECT MIND at 59E59 is Extraordinary Theatre
"Where does memory end and imagination begin?"
-My Perfect Mind
Witty, wild, wonderful and thoroughly entertaining, the United States Premiere of My Perfect Mind is now on stage at 59E59 Theatres through June 28th as part of the "Brits Off-Broadway" fest. Directed by Kathryn Hunter, it is written by Kathryn Hunter, Paul Hunter and Edward Petherbridge. The two-hander also stars Paul Hunter and Edward Petherbridge. The expertly crafted play is wonderfully presented, a must-see for metropolitan area audiences.
You realize when you first enter the theater that something unique is being staged. The set is tilted, a sign that My Perfect Mind has a real zany side. Yet this is a comedy with serious undertones.
In the show, Edward Petherbridge portrays Edward, a Shakespearean actor planning to play the part of King Lear until he suffers a stroke during rehearsals. As he struggles to recover, he finds that each word of King Lear remains in his mind. Complementing Petherbridge's character, Paul Hunter portrays a plethora of roles including an eccentric doctor, taxi driver, fellow actor and Sir Lawrence Olivier. These characters lend perspective to Edward's journey as a performer.
Petherbridge and Hunter master their roles. My Perfect Mind is a fast moving play and the two men work seamlessly to create an interplay that is so realistic that it seems spontaneous. Petherbridge as Edward deftly clings to the classic role of Lear while Hunter dazzles with his brisk character transitions. You never know who he will be next or what he will do. Amusing moments abound such as when he repeatedly slides downward on his belly onstage or pads his clothes and becomes Edward's pregnant mother.
While there are moments of complete absurdity, My Perfect Mind is also a thoughtful, poignant story that you will remember long after Petheridge and Hunter take their final bows.
My Perfect Mind is presented by Told by an Idiot, Young Vic and Theatre Royal Plymouth. The creative team has done a remarkable job of bringing this show to the stage with design by Michael Vale, lighting design by Alex Wardle for Charcoalblue, sound design by Gregory Clarke. Kathleen Riley is the Script consultant.
Gather your group and get your tickets now. My Perfect Mind runs approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes without an intermission and will be onstage through June 28th. Performances are at 59E59 Theatres (59 E. 59th Street, between Park and Madison Avenues). For ticketing and information, call Ticket Central at (212) 279-4200 or visit www.59e59.org.
Photo Credit: Manuel Harlan