Helen Mirren on stage in DC. I'm a total theater-moron and I even know that's a big deal. When I first heard the rumors back in the spring... I mentioned it to Linds. Well she about had a heart attack on the spot. Then the details started to trickle in. She would be playing Phedre at the brand new Shakespeare Theater downtown.
It would be the only American appearance for the National Theatre of Great Britain on their International Tour, and they selected DC. Chew on that New York. And guess who will be playing her ill-fated step-son....yep, Dominic Cooper. Ring a bell Mamma Mia fans? He was the fiance in the movie. It gets better.. Wait for it... we managed to get tickets.
It was a perfect night. Linds and I grabbed pizza at Edna's in Gallery Place before walking over to pick up our nearly-impossible-to-get tickets. While we were killing time we splurged and bought copies of the academy award winning actresses' memoir, then made sure to have them signed.
I'm not even going to attempt to give my opinion on the show, other than it was nothing short of perfection. We were watching Helen do for stage, what Maryl Streep does for film. Not just hit the right lines and memorize what must have been impossible dialogue from Jean Racine's 17th century classic, but she completely owned it.
Ben Brantley in The New York Times wrote, "Ms. Mirren remains not only incomparably majestic but also compellingly credible. Her Phedre is a more extreme blend of artifice and conviction, but boy , does she make it work in Nicholas Hytner's modern dress interpretation."
Waiting for us just outside the doors after the third curtain call was champagne for the audience. Linds and I toasted to her brilliance, and our success on a perfect evening.