November 28, 2012

Full of Grace

I must confess, the main reason I wanted to see Grace was Paul Rudd.  The way the play opens made me question if this was the right show for me.  But Craig Wright's dark comedy about a crisis in faith made me a believer.  It is a good tale, meant to unsettle viewers as it probes into the nature of faith.

Mr. Rudd plays Steve, a Christian who moves his wife Sara (Kate Arrington) to Florida with dreams of starting a chain of gospel-themed motels. Their neighbor Sam (Michael Shannon) is a broken man:  disfigured and cynical after losing his fiancee in a car accident. 

There is also only one turntable set, meant to represent the couple's and Sam's neighboring apartments.  Which made for some occasional confusing moments. I wonder if this was meant to add to the disquiet.
Mr. Rudd plays Steve as sincere, confident, full of evangelical zeal, yet strangely apathetic.  But when it comes to business, he is an innocent.  Although one can foresee the believers losing their religion, and the doubters finding theirs, the play's resolution still manages to startle and provoke even more questions.
Mr. Shannon will haunt you, as the embittered man who finds faith. The legendary Ed Asner is Karl the German exterminator, who is in only two scenes but steals the show.  His horrific Holocaust back story encapsulates the message of the play.
  The play is scheduled to close 06 January 2013.

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