Billy Crudup is the main draw. I have seen him on stage numerous times: Arcadia, The Coast of Utopia, and the thrilling Pillowman (a play that I remember blowing me away), and was thrilled to have the chance to see him in this one-man show at the intimate Vineyard Theatre.
David Cale’s exciting Harry Clarke is a magnificently fun ride to take with Crudup, who is given numerous great moments and thrilling acting choices to make over this 80-minute study. It’s the story of a shy young Indiana man who discovers the power of an English accent in American at a very young age, but when that fails to give him all he desires in New York City, Harry Clarke resurfaces to drive him fearlessly forward into intrigue and power.
Billy Crudup is magnetic holding our attention completely with his shy grin and his strong cockney’d persona. This is an actor’s dream role, and one he whole-heartedly grabs hold off with the confidence of someone like Harry Clarke. He’s casual (costumes: Kaye Voyce) in a way that all of Philip’s characters can inhabit his body with ease. His accents wavered a bit at the beginning, sliding in and out (dialect coach: Elizabeth Smith), but once Harry comes back into Philip Brugglestein’s scared little world with full force, that Englishman’s confidence is infectious, strengthening Crudup’s game completely.
He does a great job circumventing some of the awkward transitions within Cale’s text, that left us scratching our head one or two times, but Crudup keeps us leaning in nervously as we try to figure out where this play is heading. (for the full review, click here)