At one point in my life I have dabbled in about everything. I have done projects in embroidery, knitting, needlepoint, crochet, painted rooms, made cut outs for walls, made curtains, made a comforter, sewn a dress, made jean skirts, decoupaged items, had a cinnamon toothpick business and even collected stamps. Why? Who knows. But I felt a need growing up to try it all just to see what stuck on the wall. Not much stuck but I am certainly jack of all trades master of none. Stamp collecting lasted about six months but I do remember it.
We went to see the first of our plays at the Manhattan Theater Club last night. Mauritius. Mauritius is about stamp collecting. Two girls lose their mother (from separate fathers) and what is left is a book of stamps, two in particular that are so rare that the worth is extraordinary. The play centers around one sister attempting to sell the stamps and change her life and the other sister ( who supposedly is the only heir to the stamps) who’d rather give them to a museum. There are the characters who help assess the value and attempt to create a deal. You never really know what went on between the two sisters growing up and what occurred over the death of their mother but in the end I am not sure that is important.
As a whole, the content of the play was just okay. What was fantastic was the acting. F. Murray Abraham, who actually was at one point of his career a Macy’s Santa ( I read his bio ) is just an excellent actor. He plays a wealthy under world type of guy who has lots of money and a passion for stamps. Dylan Baker who is a Broadway pro plays the philatelist has great comedic timing and become his character. Katie Finneran, my least favorite character, the sister who supposedly is the heir to the stamp collection is also good but Bobby Cannavale who plays the "deal maker" is incredible. He eats up the stage even when he isn’t speaking. Alison Pill, who is the young star of Broadway, is just as big as a spark plug on the stage as Cannavale. It was great to watch the two of them act together on stage alone. I saw Pill in Blackbird and she was incredible there. She has just a wonderful stage presence and simply said, knows how to act. Plain looking with many layers underneath.
At the end of the day, I didn’t love the play but I just so enjoyed the performances that it made me very happy that we became patrons of MTC again this year.