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Perez Reviews: American Hero

american hero

Every ten years or so comes a movie or a play that attempts to illustrate what life is truly like today.

Thankfully, American Hero, currently playing at 2econd Stage Theater Uptown, does it very very well!

Like a more current and funnier American Beauty, the show is filled with characters who have crushed dreams, failed relationships and so much more!

Whereas a few years ago a similar play may have been darker and more cynical, American Hero is filled with moments of hope and almost non-stop laughter.

Telling the equally bizarre and somehow all-too-realistic tale of three workers at a fancy sandwich shop, playwright Bess Wohl masterfully mines the everyday and mundane into comedic brilliance.

Who knew making a sandwich could be so funny???

The show is about the big and the small. The good and the bad. Working together as a team and how sometimes we get the best of ourselves and each other.

A lot to explore in just 90 minutes with no intermission! A feat executed under the direction of Leigh Silverman.

Thankfully this show has a great cast - all who do a wonderful job. They include Jerry O'Connell, Daoud Heidami and Erin Wilhelmi.

AND Ari Graynor delivers an inspired and revelatory performance as a loose mother who is down on her luck and even more down on herself.

Sitting in that audience we were IN AWE of her comedic timing. Her complete immersion in this character. The way she was able to be big and ballsy yet also intimate and authentic.

She was so invested in every moment! It was a pleasure and a privilege to get to watch her do this part.

Ari Graynor is a superstar! We can't wait until the rest of the world finds out!!!

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Perez Reviews: The Substance Of Fire

subtance of fire

Before there was Brothers & Sisters or Other Desert Cities there was The Substance Of Fire, one of Jon Robin Baitz's first plays, which originally premiered in 1991.

The play, currently off-Broadway at 2econd Stage is everything we have come to love and expect from Baitz.

The Substance Of Fire is about a family patriarch and what happens when his publishing business is crumbling.

It's an exploration on family and the intricacies of those relationships. It's funny and sad and beautiful and doesn't always end like you wish it would.

We left the show a bit frustrated things didn't end nice and neatly, but we did leave very thankful we saw it - especially for the performance of John Noble, as the dad who makes your curmudgeon of a father seem like a cheery perma-smiling pop!

This character is very unlikely yet Noble makes him more than human. He makes him likeable! Not an easy feat!

He's truly superb and we were SHOCKED to read in his bio that he is Australian. His character is originally from Germany and his accent is so convincing that we thought he was from there!!!!

Daniel Eric Gold is another standout as the son with the heart of gold.

Fine fine acting all-around!

Fine fine production!

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