1933? Really? Things happened that year?
In my head, World War II went from 1942-45, and that's the whole story. But in Germany, it took many years for these events to percolate and get to the part where Ben Affleck joins the war effort.
But my concerns were quickly dashed as the play explained much of what I thought I didn't know, allowing me to enjoy the story.
I'm going to leave the "real" reviewing to the "real" reviewers. All I know is that I really enjoyed it.
It's difficult to explain without spoiling too much. The story takes place in 1933 and modern day, alternating between the two eras. The story is really a commentary about how history repeats itself.
George Santayana famously said, "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it", but there's an idea in the play that I think might be even more cleverer than that.
A character talks about "Historical Meteorology". It's the idea that history can be predicted like the weather, and I thought it was just a brilliant way to reinterpret that Santayana quote.
Not only is it great writing from Tony Kushner, it's great performances from the crew. Which brings me to my second thought about watching the play.
There should have been more people in the audience for the performance. I understand it was a rainy Monday night, and maybe the weekend shows were packed. But I'm sure there were people living perhaps even within walking distance that were looking for an interesting night out following their MLK Day dinner celebrations with their families.
A play might be poorly written, poorly acted, poorly staged, or any combination of those things. But it just might be really great, and you may see something you've never seen before.
It's just like going to the movies. You may spend 20 or 30 bucks per person on a night out to see that new Jennifer Aniston movie, only to be disappointed. Again.
There are local theaters all over. There's one near you. People from your community, performing in an intimate setting, usually for a great price.
Having some experience being on stage, I can say that it's sometimes somehow more difficult to be in front of a small room instead of a huge auditorium.
In a big room, there are bright lights in your face and a certain physical separation between the stage and the audience, making it almost possible to ignore the audience and just do your thing.
I'm generalizing, of course, and I'm not saying acting in any situation is "easy". But imagine pouring out emotions to strangers (or people you know) who are literally within touching distance from you, night after night. For weeks.
And to be in an audience where you can actually feel the actor's emotions wash over you because you're only 20 feet away is pretty powerful stuff. More than once, I've been moved by a performance by someone whose "real job" is working in an office during the day.
So I would not only encourage you to see A Bright Room Called Day (it's playing through the end of January), I encourage you to see a play near you soon.
There are plenty of resources to find out what's near you, but if you're in Michigan, here's a list to get you started. It's from the program I got at The Ringwald, and I don't think they'll mind me sharing it with you.