Richard, Gretta, and I saw this play on Broadway on 5/24.  It's up for five Tonys, including Best Play - - my dear friend Frank raved about it and said the guy in the lead role, Steven Boyer, gives a tour de force performance and deserves the Tony.  But he'll have fierce competition from Bradley Cooper, who was so lovely in *The Elephant Man*.  Anyway, that is neither here nor there.  It's the story of a shy teenage boy named Jason in rural Texas.  His mother was feeling unmoored so she started a puppet ministry in their church.  Jason has taken to it more intensely than anyone would have wished - - he's basically been possessed by his hand puppet, Tyrone.  Shades of *Magic*, or that classic *Twilight Zone* with the demonic ventriloquist dummy.  Tyrone says offensive things, turns violent, and shakes things up in a way that no one wants, least of all Jason.  The best scene in the play is the one where Tyrone wakes Jason up in the middle of the night and tells him who's in charge.  It was hilarious and disturbing at the same time, and that's a combo platter I will always choose from the menu.

The play is not for everyone.  There's lots of anti religion apart from the *Book of Mormon*-style humor, and the extended puppet sex scene was all kinds of wrong, what I refer to as "R-O-N-G wrong."  But the three of us appear to be the target audience, we were crazy for it and blown away by Boyer, who more or less has a double role, as Jason and the puppet, Tyrone.  It was a little creepy that when Tyrone was talking we were looking at him, not at the actor.   I loved Bradley Cooper in *The Elephant Man*, and will be happy if he wins the Tony, but I'll be even happier if Boyer wins.  Cooper is a visiting dignitary - - Boyer is a real New York working actor.

 

LOVE, Chris

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