Last Friday, I attended Guild Hall to see a celebrity reading of a new play by Eugene Pack called, "Columbus & Amsterdam." The reading of this romantic-comedy was held to benefit The Felix Organization, a foundation that supports children growing up in the foster care system, and brought with it an all-star cast of support.
Actors Chris Bauer, Scott Adsit, Edie Falco, Kyra Sedgwick, and Dayle Reyfel were among the hilarious cast. "Columbus & Amsterdam" is a play about two couples from Manhattan who are long-time friends that have recently reconnected. They end up having their lives turned upside down by the re-appearance of a long, lost female friend.
The chemistry of the cast and delivery of the reading left me feeling like they had been reading from this script for a long time. Truth be said, the cast had only been rehearsing together the day of the show.
Falco played Lena, a matter-of-fact character who recently became a first-time mom and is not loving it. Pack's writing took the serious topic of Lena possibly suffering from post-partum depression and addressed the issue through her character with a humor that made you feel like it was "normal" to be a new mom having those feelings. Falco's talent of seemingly natural sarcasm and blank expression made her delivery of lines flawless. It was a real privilege to see her perform in such an authentic and pure night of theater.
Playing opposite Falco was Bauer, who played Roland, Lena's husband. Roland is a successful business and family man, but still feels like he is missing something from his life. Bauer's comedic delivery was spot-on. If you've ever seen him on "True Blood," or if you locally had the pleasure of seeing him in "Romance" at Bay Street Theatre, you would know that he is a very talented comedian. Bauer has played many serious roles in his career, and if you only know him as a fan of "The Wire" you probably would be surprised to see how funny he is.
Sedgwick's character, Melanie was a flirtatious, creative, free-spirit that drives men and women wild. Sedgwick's stage presence and natural beauty led me to believe that she was the perfect choice for her role.
Adsit, who is best known from NBC's "30 Rock," played Elliot, a husband, computer-whiz, and friend of Roland's. Adsit's character portrayl was interesting to me. His character seemed to lack emotion and, although Adsit being the talented comedian that he is made his character as funny as could be, Elliot was one of my least favorite characters in the play.
Reyfel played the character of Darcey, Elliot's wife. Reyfel, who I have never seen perform before, did an amazing job playing the role of a two-faced, insecure, indecisive woman. At first, Reyfel's reading of Darcey came across as the most annoying person in the world that I would want to run far away from, but in the end, she left me feeling a compassionate empathy for her confused heart. Reyfel's performance caused me to experience a shift change. A small moment when something shifted in my thinking; something changed.
I would love to see this play as a full production. Based on this play, I would encourage those who are interested, to attend Guild Hall on August 24, when Pack and Reyfel present their production of "Celebrity Autobiography."
Editor's Note: Amy Tangel spends time on the South Fork and is a resident of Medford. She is a freelance reporter for Patch, as well.