When I read that Jenna Fischer was going to be in Neil LaBute's 'Reasons to be Happy' after the Office finished filming, I went online and bought tickets. The play sounded great, and honestly, I'd go and see Ms. Fischer in anything. (Have you watched The Giant Mechanical Man with her and Chris Messina? It's streaming on Netflix right now and so worth it). Plus, the Lucille Lortel Theater is in the West Village so we were able to get an awesome dinner at Murray's Cheese Bar before the show (more on that later).
The theater was tight, but in a good way. We were about ten rows back and I still felt like I could reach out and touch any of the actors on stage. Anthony and I both commented about the Nirvana songs that were playing before the show, and once the show started, we realized that Nirvana was the soundtrack, played only between the scenes and then swiftly clicked off when the lights flashed on. The music really worked perfectly with the storyline.
That mint green retro bike by the theater was adorbs. I almost took it for a ride
around the block while we waited.
And most importantly, we really enjoyed the play. The acting was wonderful, the story true to life, and the dialogue was extremely realistic. The sets are simple and there are only four characters; at no point are they all on the stage at the same time. Jenna Fischer's character Steph is so unlike her Office role of Pam Beesly so it was really refreshing to see her in this part, complete with lots of obscenities and even a couple of scenes where she goes at her ex-husband arms-swinging.
I'm not a theater buff but I'd recommend 'Reasons to be Happy.' If you've seen it, let me know what you thought! xo
Bonus: the ushers were kind of cranky and when this fancy older couple came in, the wife immediately asked a female usher to direct her to the concession stand. Not the best idea. Apparently, there isn't a concession stand and she wasn't afraid to tell them that. Classic.