Stage Rush TV: Episode 64
- Playwright Jez Butterworth quotes Stage Rush’s Jerusalem review on Theater Talk. [Full TV clip here]
- The Book of Mormon Tony nominee Rory O’Malley gives his best impression of co-star, and college roommate, Josh Gad impersonating him
- The [title of show] / Now. Here. This. gang announces the winners of the 2011 Patrick Lee ITBA Awards
- Broadway grosses
What do you think, Rushers? Did you catch the Jerusalem episode of Theater Talk? Can you believe former college roommates Rory O’Malley and Josh Gad are now both starring in (and Tony-nominated for) The Book of Mormon? How much does seeing the [title of show] gang together again make you want to explode with happiness? Leave your thoughts in the comments below!
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A playwright puts pen to paper in order to share a message with the world. It is meant to be received by an audience, weighed, and understood. Yet in the case of a show that has no discernable meaning, where hours of words crash upon the audience like bricks and nothing is derided, something is very wrong. Such is the case with Jez Butterworth’s indecipherable Jerusalem.
Set in the woods of Wiltshire, England (an impressive set by Ultz, with trees that tower to the top of the Music Box Theatre, far beyond where the audience can see), the perpetually drunk Johnny “Rooster” Byron (played expertly by Mark Rylance) resides with his equally inebriated gang of lost boys and girls. This middle-aged soak enables the group of punks who laze around, acting like fools, in an obvious effort to hold onto a youth that has long escaped him. It is also evident at points that this troubled group of delinquents enables Rooster just as much.
The unsavory bunch congregate at Rooster’s trailer, parked in the middle of the forest, day after day, drunkenly carrying on with music blaring. The well-to-do residents of the area that have grown in numbers over the years have had enough of Rooster & Co. and have successfully petitioned the government to throw them off the land. What ensues is Rooster’s passionate crusade, fueled by a bottomless source of pride, to keep his land and his derelict way of life.
The plot is interesting enough. A colorful character with a penchant for spouting tall tales and has a bunch of goofy, younger sidekicks fights wildly to stake his claim on his land. This would be all well and good if Jerusalem didn’t have a running time of three hours. Other than the storyline I have just outlined, the hours of monologues and exchanges is an incomprehensible blur from which I gleaned no value. Read more