Last night we attended a performance of Craig Wright’s Grace—starring Ed Asner, Paul Rudd, Michael Shannon and Kate Arrington—over at the Cort Theater. After the show was over we were invited to hang around for a talkback with the cast, moderated by Patrick Pacheco. After someone asked a smart question about religion, it was pretty clear that it would be inappropriate for us to ask Michael Shannon if he ever sang “Music of the Night” backstage while still in his character’s deformed half-face/mask, or toss any Alicia Silverstone/Clueless mentions at Paul Rudd, so we mostly just observed. Below, some of the fun moments we caught.
- First and most important thing to note: PAUL RUDD IS SO CUTE YOU GUYS IT’S ACTUALLY HEARTSICKENING. Like, when you look at him you can instantly imagine brushing your fingers through his beautiful hair while he rocks your infant child to sleep, and then your ovaries explode and the shrapnel lodges in your heart and you want to cry forever.
- If you don’t already know this, Paul Rudd’s character Steve is a relatively crazy, not-so-good-guy/religious freak. Anyway. At one point Kate Arrington was talking about how she envies people who have real certainty in their beliefs, and that Steve’s certainty is one of the things she finds charming about his character. Just as Arrington calls Steve charming, Rudd turns to the audience and says “SEE!” as if to prove his character WAS likeable, y’all. It was deeply charming.
- Ed Asner is the actual best. At one point, Patrick Pacheco fumbled a question about whether or not Rudd & Arrington thought their characters were having sex and things got reallll uncomfortable. Lots of awkward hemming and hawing. No worries, though, team. Ed Asner was there to save us. “I slept with her,” he quipped, cracking everyone up and killing the tension instantly. Thank god for Ed Asner. Just… don’t think too much about his sex life, m’kay? It’s… yeah…
- Michael Shannon is both real serious, and real thoughtful, so he was giving very measured answers to people’s questions when he had the opportunity to speak. That is, until the moment he got really distracted by his own eyebrow, which was still all gunked up from the stuff they use to affix the deformed half of his character’s face – PHANTOM OF THE GRACE PLAY, Y’ALL! – and had to like, stop completely to pick at it. “Sorry, I had spirit gum in my eyebrow,” is our actual favorite quote of the night.
Credit: Craig Barritt