Friday, November 19, 2010

Haunted by Rapp's Ghosts

Sarah Lemp and Nick Lawson in Ghosts in the Cottonwoods.

Had the pleasure of introducing a friend to the work of one of my favorite contemporary playwrights, Adam Rapp, last week when I was assigned to review the New York premiere of the first full-length play he ever wrote, Ghosts in the Cottonwoods, presented by the plucky young Amoralists troupe down at Theatre 80.

Sitting in that packed house full of members of the X and Y generation was the closest theater experience I've had to a rock concert since Rock of Ages, which essentially is a rock concert. Among the opening-night crowd I spotted Sam Waterston (not surprisingly) and Annie noticed America Ferrera.

Annie usually just drinks wine, but she needed a martini after this show, a bloody tale of a backwoods family homecoming that ends in brutality. I was transported, felt like I'd been put through the wringer, my usual response to Rapp's plays, so while I enjoyed a margarita, she sipped her martini at Simone and asked me to fill her in on what I knew of Rapp's oeuvre which, for what it's worth, is quite a lot.