Monday, March 9, 2015

Some Pleasure in Fish in the Dark

Rosie Perez and David in Fish in the Dark.

I didn't expect to enjoy Fish in the Dark as much as I did. That's not to say I had a great time. Larry David's Broadway debut as actor and author is only moderately amusing, but since the appeal of his popular HBO comedy series Curb Your Enthusiasm always eluded me, modest enjoyment was more than I expected.

I loved Seinfeld, which David co-created, as far back as when it was called The Seinfeld Chronicles, but I don't find him very engaging as a performer, either onscreen or onstage. Fortunately, he's surrounded by enough talented Broadway veterans — in particular, Jayne Houdyshell, Marylouise Burke and Lewis J. Stadlen — that it's not as big a problem as it might have been if Fish in the Dark were a star vehicle instead of an ensemble show with an 18-member cast, huge for a play.

Not that I find these characters any more likable or interesting than the ones that populated Curb Your Enthusiasm, but I only had to spend two hours with them, not revisit them week after week, which was fine. Now I have no need to see any of them ever again.