Richard and I saw *Log Cabin* at Playwright’s Horizons on 6/22/18. We had two celebrity sightings in the lobby before the show, Tony Kushner and Ana Gasteyer. Unfortunately they were going to see the OTHER show in the building, *Dance Nation.* Maybe that was a better show!
*Log Cabin* is a new play by Jordan Harrison, centered on a gay couple and a lesbian couple and their problems, issues, hang-ups, hopes, dreams, cutlery, etc. I’ve seen many new plays since I moved to New York in 2002, usually on Broadway or at a well-funded off Broadway company. These plays usually have one or more famous actors in the cast, often have Tony-winning directors and designers, and the playwrights usually have one or more notable credits. The thing I’m learning is that the show lives and/or dies by the strength of the play itself. I realize this is not an earth-shattering observation.
This play was an off-putting mixture of good writing and bad writing. The dramatic arc of the piece was well thought out, and one scene really crackled with originality and excitement. That scene stood out because the dialogue really felt like it was being spoken by the characters and not written by the author. About half of the dialogue in the play felt leaden and clunky. Some laughs, but it was often hard work to get to them.
Jesse Tyler Ferguson was the one famous actor in the cast. He was playing a variation on his character from *Modern Family.* Cindy Cheung and Ian Harvie were the stand-outs in the cast, as one half of the lesbian couple and as the trans man who was Ferguson’s childhood best friend, back when he was a girl. I would be very interested in seeing the two of them in something else. The other four actors, not so much.