GARDEN OF BLUE CHAIRS (reading) at Magic Theatre

z.pngIf you ever get a chance to cast Lorri Holt, Nancy Madden, Arwen Anderson, Michael Keys Hall or Wanda McCaddon — do it!

Last night I went to a reading of Stanley Rutherford’s GARDEN OF BLUE CHAIRS, which was part of the Z/Magic Monday reading series. The cast was unbelievable; you could take the cast as is, build a set and have a fantastic play up and running next week.

Of course, it helps that the play is brilliantly written. It’s nice to see a post-ironic (or perhaps pre-ironic) story with real characters having real emotions and not undercutting things with a joke or floating along on the surface. This is a beautiful, moving, funny, charming, deep and powerful play.

A true sign of what a deft touch the writer has: I left thinking it was a quiet, simple play where not much “plot” happens. Then I realized there’s suicide, cancer, adultery, hidden homosexuality, confrontations, sex and all sorts of things that could have been melodramatic in a lesser writer’s hands. But everything was perfectly balanced. It made a bunch of us playwrights in the room want to get ahold of the script and figure out how he did it.

I don’t know Stanley Rutherford, but if you’re a producer, you should.