This new play is inspired by our recent presidential elections: the issues are alive and the play sparkles with vitality — and partisanship. Obama supporters, don’t miss it! Bush supporters might do better to stay away.
The setting is a checkered table cloth cafe with framed drawings of theater personalities: read “very New York City.” A Texas attorney, who happens to be a tall, beautiful woman, meets a handsome NY theater agent for lunch to purchase all rights to a new play by the agent’s client. Why are the attorney’s clients so anxious to obtain all rights to this — as yet unfinished — play? The agent, though tempted by the big pocket offer, needs a reason. He’s responsible for representing the best interests of his playwright client, after all, and as it emerges the rights to the play are being sought by a Certain Very Powerful Man who’s engaged in polishing up his political legacy. Gossip has it that he will be badly characterized in the play so he’s seeking the rights to totally suppress it.
The agent balks at doing the deal blind, so the attorney balks at completing the deal. An impasse. But A. R. Gurney comes up with a “deus ex machina” (earnestly defined by the Aristotelian boyfriend of the busybody waitress) that will thrill all who love movies. A play within the play turns the plot to please all parties (well, all those with a small p). And all parties on the scene are pleased … Gurney doesn’t let us worry too much about the Texas clients.
This world premiere of A. R. Gurney’s A Light Lunch plays at the Flea Theater in Tribeca through January 25th.