Well, David in Shadow and Light is well into the second week of its run and has, unfortunately, been universally clobbered by the critics. I’m one of those actors who reads reviews, and while I haven’t taken any personal hits (not yet, anyway), it’s still distressing. The good folks at Theatre J are in a state of shock; it’s hard when you’ve lavished time and money (not to mention love) on a project like this, only to have it blow up in your face. God love them for not pointing fingers or trying to assign blame, but for simply picking themselves off the floor and soldiering on.
I was talking to fellow cast member Larry Redmond backstage last night, and he remarked that he admired everyone in the cast for their dogged commitment to doing the show they were directed to do. At first I was touched and a little amused, but then I started thinking: is “dogged” really the best I can do with my performance? Yes, the show has flaws and I have been troubled throughout the process by the particular flaws of my character’s track (I play the Angel Metatron). But “dogged?” I think I can do better than that.
So my goal for the rest of the show is to keep searching and trying. I don’t think the show is the complete write-off that some critics have painted; it has beauty and creativity and sincerity. Audience members cry at the end of the show, and I don’t think it’s because they’re just a bunch of saps. It’s because David’s story is both heartbreaking and uplifting.
I’m urging you to look carefully at the ad above. Movie tickets cost about what Theatre J is charging, and for that money you get LIVE THEATRE. You’re supporting a non-profit performing arts company that has the courage to put its heart and soul into something new. You’ll be seeing a cast of terrific DC-based performers. You’ll hear music that’s a fusion of styles, performed by a kick-ass band.
So I’m challenging you to give the Indiana Jones film a miss this week. Go to Theatre J instead. See the show and make up your own mind. Indy will still be there next week. David only runs through June 22nd.
Personally, I promise you better than “dogged.” A lot better.