Wednesday, November 13, 2013

5 Reasons to See The Jacksonian

There are five reasons to see the New Group's production of Beth Henley's new play The Jacksonian at Theatre Row and they are: Ed Harris, Glenne Headly, Amy Madigan, Bill Pullman, and Juliet Brett. The Jacksonian is intriguing throughout its 85 minutes (the perfect length for this play), but its made even better by the performances.
Ed Harris and real-life wife Amy Madigan; Photo credit: Monique Carboni
Ed Harris plays dentist Bill Perch (Harris), who is staying at the Jacksonian hotel because his wife Susan (Madigan) kicked him out (it's 1964). He is just the right amount of scary (and may put you off from going to the dentist any time soon), but also gets across the character's more human side. Madigan's Susan is just as unhinged. Newcomer Brett plays their 16-year-old daughter and is completely believable as a teenager who is still innocent, but starting to understand more about the world. I know Headly as Mr. Holland's wife in Mr. Holland's Opus, but she is completely transformed here as a fun-loving maid who appears to have no morals. Pullman is likewise unrecognizable as a creepy bartender, far from the presidents and romantic figures he's played in the past, retaining just enough charm so you can see why the female characters are drawn to him.

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