Mystic Pizza Box

Mystic Pizza Box
A slice of heaven

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Kathryn Erbe in 10 x 25 Series C at the Atlantic Stage 2 Theater 6-25-2011

I haven't been to an Off-Broadway play in awhile and today was my first visit to the Atlantic Stage 2 Theater on West 16th Street in Chelsea. Just a few blocks from the recent reshoot for LO:CI on Horatio Street and from where scenes from "Rispetto" were filmed. Although today was the second anniversary of the death of Michael Jackson and his music was on the radio all day long, I also wanted to take a break from sad memories of his loss with this afternoon's Saturday matinee of "10 x 25" plays Evening C.

Kathryn Erbe was featured in two of the nine ten-minute plays on the Series C program, "Evanescence/Shakespeare in the Alley" written by Sam Shepard and directed by Neil Pepe (Artistic Director of the Atlantic Theater Company) and "Sold" written by Moira Buffini and directed by Scott Zigler. Kate is a long-time member of the Atlantic Theater Company and just recently resumed performing onstage after working on LO:CI for the past decade, according to the theater program, and is "thrilled to be be here now."

The first of her two plays "Evanescence/Shakespeare in the Alley," performed before the intermission, is a heartfelt monologue about the complexity of human relationships, with Kate seated in a black leather chair for most of her performance. Facing the audience with a mournful stare and dressed like a schoolteacher in a long sleeved pale silk blouse, dark skirt, a pearl necklace and white open toe pumps, Kate launches into her monologue about love, lust, loss, death, and connections among people. After a line about suicide and asking "What are you going to do, blow your brains out?" a watermelon crashes onto the stage directly behind Kate, a stunt that is repeated a few minutes later after the appearance of a diminutive actor dressed as Shakespeare dragging a body bag onstage after Kate's verbal equating of erotic love with murder. Weird! She also removes her shoes at one point and throws them onto the stage before returning to her chair for the rest of her performance, revealing the black toe nail polish she was wearing. I had a front row seat in this tiny theater and it was amazing to see Kate sitting right in front of me pouring her heart out onstage in an emotionally charged performance tingued with sadness and longing.

After the intermission, the second half of the program began with "Sold," a humorous piece centering on a man and a woman at a bar debating the value of a human soul. Kate's character Angela "of the angels" lol was quite the vamp with her hair swept up from her face, wearing a dark blue top and skirt and black pearls and pumps. T.R. Knight was adorable as Michael, a young salesman in casual office duds (no jacket) trying his best to persuade (or seduce) Angela into selling her soul for the princely sum of five dollars! Seriously. Angela and Michael debate the concepts of the human soul as having value despite it being "non-existent" and of the soul being treated as a product to be auctioned off to the highest bidder, getting into a curiously flirtatious face-to-face at the bar at one point. Michael ultimately offers Angela his body in exchange for her soul, which he will offer at auction that evening. Finally, after Angela signs the contract she has persuaded Michael to amend to her liking, she tells him she's going to bid on his soul and ensure that she will win even by outbidding his mom! Michael expresses his disappointment by telling Angela, "My body would have been completely at your disposal." Angela responds by grabbing Michael's tie and pulling him close before she declares slyly "Oh, it will be." Oh my! I thought they were going to end up in a passionate lip lock there, but the lights went out at that moment. Mmmm.

I also recognized actors featured in several other plays, including Eddie Cahill of "CSI:NY" and "The Narrows" as an insurance agent in "I Need A Quote" and Ilana Levine, featured in several LO:CI episodes, including "Frame" and "Icarus" as a mom in "Inside Play." The quality of the plays was uneven but I was entertained overall.

I got to speak to Kate for a few minutes outside the theater after the matinee and we spoke about the season finale of LO:CI. She told me that USA never made a formal announcement that the show was cancelled but that they had said earlier that there would be only eight more episodes this season. She and Vincent D'Onofrio had appeared early this morning on the "TODAY" show to speak about the season finale of LO:CI and I told her about our online campaign to keep the show alive for another season and she was very pleased to hear this. Kate told me that it was the fans that brought her and Vincent back for this season and she was confident that we could do it again. Cool! I told Kate about my E-mail to Jeff Wachtel of NBC Universal and our messages and tweets to USA Network on behalf of LO:CI on various sites such as Facebook and Twitter and our blogs, including mine, Vinnie Vidi Vici, Reelblog and Lovely Kathryn. Kate sent us all a personal message-I love you all! She still has hope that the show will come back in some form after this season and I suggested to her that USA could continue LO:CI as a series of movies a la Columbo (RIP Peter Falk). Kate that she and Vincent would both be up for more episodes or movies if TPTB give the greenlight and she thanked us for all our love and support.

Before I left, I gave Kate a birthday card and gift, the Alicia Keys CD "The Element of Freedom." Turns out that Kate is a big fan of hers and she told me she couldn't wait to listen to the CD at home. The card was made by my brother Alberto with a special message from me. Btw, the way did you know that Kate wears a size 7 1/2 shoe? So kind of her to share that fact with us. :)We'll be chatting with Kate and Vincent tomorrow night online during the East Coast and West Coast airings of the LO:CI season finale "To The Boy In The Blue Knit Cap." Let's keep the pressure on NBC Universal and USA to renew LO:CI. Vincent and Kate need our support!


  1. Mhm, thank you so much for the long report about your theater visit.

  2. Antje, I have a surprise for you from Kate. :)