Larry David’s new play is in previews on Broadway at the Cort Theater 138 W. 48th St., New York City
When you think about Larry David and the way he views the world.
I saw this show on Saturday, February 14th, 2015 and yes, it was my Valentine’s Day present. I still haven’t recovered. In previews at the Cort Theater in New York City, “Fish in the Dark” will open in March. Judging by my reactions (and grudgingly, the audiences’) it’s a hit and David is none too pleased by this prospect, as he says in today’s New York Sunday Times*, ” I don’t think it’s good…it’s a terrible thing.”
David has not been on stage since grade school and so he and one of his co-stars, Jake Cannavale, aged 19, are making their Broadway debuts together. Cannavale is the grandson of Sidney Lumet and Lena Horne is the son of Emmy winner Bobby Cannavale.
As a sporadic actress myself, I noted how seamlessly David moves between the small screen and the stage. According to the Times article, David wrote the play and had no desire to be in it and to enjoy it as a writer. No less than Rob Reiner persuaded him to star in it.
However, Larry David has appointed himself as the Truthteller one would find in Greek plays, only he acts in this capacity for American humor (and tragedy.) And he seems to be enjoying himself, as much as has claimed that he doesn’t really like scripts.
The play’s plot revolves around death and the various occurrences that lead up to it. A clever device in the show was an overlay of a California death certificate and each time the status of a character’s mortality changed, letters were either typed into the death certificate, or fell off. As a legal assistant these days to a venerated Wills, Trusts, and Estates attorney, a Yale graduate, I can attest to the rich plot lines that occur as families, plan or not plan, wait for, or be surprised by, death and what decades long family sagas play out. David calls this, “Death etiquette.”
In “Fish in the Dark” David parades a varied and intertwined group of characters, all of whom, to my mind are fractals of David himself. Elflike, he dances around the stage during the production, with a sardonic and yet innocent joy.
As usual, David breaks new ground in broaching previously unmentionable (and unthoughtof) subjects. No less than the ladylike wife of Tom Hanks, Rita Wilson, utters the “C” word…more than once. David, in character, debates on whether or not the “C” word as an epithet equates to calling someone a “Dickhead.” My opinion is that the “C” word far outweighs “Dickhead.”
Larry David’s mother in the play, appears to be near death. However, she magically becomes younger feeling, nicer and full of zest when she begins a torrid affair with someone young enough to be her grandson…her dead husband’s and cleaning lady’s (played by Rosie Perez) illegitimate son (Cannavale) conceived while in the wife’s employ. Thanks, Arnold Shwarzenegger.
This subplot made me feel better about being a middle aged woman; this grandmother/grandson lover dynamic makes the idea of being a “Cougar” seem quaint.
To be continued, because I need to do some research…