Thursday, November 20, 2008

Jane Anderson's, "The Quality of Life" at A.C.T.

Once in a while a play comes along that not only entertains but contains within it's message and dialogue and subtleties the possibility of changing the hearts and lives of those fortunate enough to see it performed. The show, "The Quality of Life" currently showing at A.C.T. and with only a few days left in the run, is just that kind of play. Jane Anderson is masterful in both her writing and direction of this remarkable work. I left the theatre stunned. I found myself walking up and down Geary Street for about and hour just thinking about what I experienced. The biggest change I noticed in my psyche was that I was actually kind to the many street people begging in the neighborhood. Usually, I feel a sense of caution and fear when I encounter them. But after attending this play that feeling was completely gone. I found this quite remarkable.

The play deals with life and death and love and marriage in Anderson's own unique voice, but at the same artistic level of an Albee or Miller. If you don't see the show in San Francisco, look for it in New York soon. This play is destined for Broadway and in my opinion great things lie ahead for Anderson with her outstanding work.

The Cast:
Laurie Metcalf
(Desperate Housewives, Roseanne), JoBeth Williams (Poltergeist, The Big Chill), Steven Culp (A.C.T.'s Blackbird), and two-time OBIE Award winner Dennis Boutsikaris.

The Quality of Life is winner of three 2008 LA Stage Alliance Ovation Awards, including Best Play, Best Playwright, and Best Lead Actress (Laurie Metcalf). It was also nominated for four 2007 Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Awards.

"Tremendous! It entertains, amuses, compels, makes the audience think, feel, laugh, weep. That is theater." —San Francisco Examiner

"A magnetic work of theater. Very funny . . . astounding performances!" —San Francisco Chronicle

"Thoroughly captivating. Beautifully directed . . . wonderfully engaging characters" —Contra Costa Times

"Radiant! One of the most emotionally acute productions of the fall season" —San Jose Mercury News

"Highest rating! Crackling, fast-moving! A powerful play that touches every emotion in the book . . . as passionate and profound as you're likely to see on any stage." —

"Touching and thought-provoking . . . skillfully crafted" —San Francisco Bay Times

"A dream cast!"Los Angeles City Beat

"When I see a production as beautifully written, directed, and performed as The Quality of Life, I thank my lucky stars." —