Richard and I saw this play on Broadway on 11/11. I've become a bit of a Pinter fanatic, since Karen Miller and I saw *The Homecoming* on Broadway in 2008. That play blew me away, knocked me off my chair, knocked out every one of my teeth. It's a thrill to be in the presence of such brilliant writing, and he gives such fantastic opportunities for good actors. I imagine a mediocre actor would fail big time in Pinter, but thankfully I haven't seen that.
*Old Times* starred Eve Best (who was the sole woman in *The Homecoming*) and two actors making their Broadway debuts: Clive Owen and Kelly Reilly. I've been a fan of Owen since *Gosford Park*, I've loved him in every single thing I've seen. He's got a marvelous relaxed intensity, something you don't see too often. I knew Reilly from *Flight*, she was the down-trodden girl opposite Denzel Washington in that movie. All three actors were extraordinary, they related to each other in an exciting way and totally nailed the peculiar rhythms of Pinter.
A brief excerpt from the conversation Richard and I had before the show:
HIM: Do you know what this is about?
ME: I have no idea what this is about.
HIM: And you might not have any more of an idea an hour and a half from now.
He kinda hit the nail on the head. Were the women former roommates, or also former lovers? Did the husband meet the other woman before? Was the other woman actually there in the room? Was either woman actually there in the room? These are the questions that remain unanswered at the end of the play. Richard said he will NOT be seeing more Pinter, this is not his bag.
Pinter is known for his pauses. The merch booth was selling a black T-shirt that said, "Pause. - Pinter." Hilarious! But Pinter also is the master at writing blank and banal dialogue - - in both cases (the pauses and the banal dialogue) you can hear the things that are not being said. You don't know precisely what it IS that's not being said, but you can hear it loud and clear.
Call me crass, but there were two other things about this show that totally sent me over the moon: it started at 7 PM (rather than the more standard 8 PM) and it was 65 minutes minutes long. We were on the subway platform at 8:16 PM and home by 8:55 PM. Bliss.
One more note: Eve Best wore an unconvincing brunette wig. I think she might have borrowed it from Joan Collins. Or, more likely, from Jackie Collins. Who is no longer wearing wigs. Or perhaps just wearing one wig.