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"A Number" very good

This weekend I went to New York City for a short post-Turkey Day holiday. While I didn't spend much time in shops, it wasn't nearly has busy as I feared. Anyway, one of the highlights of the trip was seeing a recent play by Caryl Churchill, "A Number." (here's a local copy of the page if/when the original disappears). In the play, a son has found out there are "a number" of clones of him. The story mostly involves the details of the situation and how it came to be.

Sam Shepard plays the father to the son played by Dallas Roberts. I was told this is the first time in a long time (decades?) that Shepard has acted on stage but you sure couldn't tell from watching him. I was also told Michael Gambon originated the father role in London but I can't picture it, not so much because Sam was so perfect (he was good but I can imagine others doing just as well) but just because the character talks a lot about suing in a way I can't imagine a British character doing. I suppose Gambon could have been playing an American but there's nothing in the play that says the characters have to be American.

I never heard of Dallas Roberts before but he seemed very familiar. His credits list some Law & Order appearances (I think every actor living in New York has been on L&O at least once) but I haven't watched that show in ages.

Anyway, the play was very enjoyable. I don't think I've actually read an entire Caryl Churhill play but "A Number" was more "accessible" than what I've been exposed to before. It's a drama with mysteries that are slowly revealed but also a fair amount of tension-releaving humor. I'm into "science" tales so the mention of cloning was an immediate draw but it's really not that kind of story. It has an element of the philosophical (which I'm also into) but mostly it's about father/son dynamics. The fact that cloning was involved simply serves to prove the saying, "the more things change, the more they stay the same."

Comments (2)


Doesn't this particular play feature a show-stopping dance number set to the tune of the super-infectious Outkast tune "Hey Ya!"?

I believe it does. Indeed, I do so believe.

Silly Cali-for-nigh-A-an.

(Woo, my first comment since upgradeding to MT3!)

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