Rather than record my own P-town experiences on Halloween, I’ll let James Urbaniak do it for me.
Urbaniak mentions the Princeton filming of what I assumed to be A Beautiful Mind 2: A Beautifuler Mind. His other entries are also very funny, especially What I Told the Grand Jury and Imaginary Conversations Between Myself and Famous Actors Concerning This Blog.
Seeing Urbaniak—the reigning interpreter of Will Eno—in action only further confuses my opinion of the playwright’s work. I expected that an audience not stupid enough to take the character of Thom Pain seriously would either pity or laugh at him. But Urbaniak shows no weakness; he’s immune to pity. His Thom would laugh along with us.
Urbaniak’s approach (which is presumably Eno’s own) blunts the offensiveness of the Thom Pain monologue, but also hollows it. The play becomes an exercise routine. My post and its ingredients become irrelevant: Thom’s sex life and Lady Grey’s hypothetical child are just playground equipment.
There’s nothing wrong with Will and James at play, but it makes every moment into a Dick Van Dyke ottoman stumble: choreographed and expected. I want more.