In the Next Room has many distinctions, not the least of which is its ability to inspire lobby and sidewalk discussion of a liveliness I've not experienced since I started backstage blogging for LCT.org. Last month, I provided an initial installment of highlights from this sometimes loopy chatter. Here's Part Two.
Man in Gray Suit: I enjoyed the play, but did you have to bring me to see it tonight?
Woman in Blue: What do you mean?
Man: I had a colonoscopy this morning, remember?
Woman: Yes. And?
Man: Do you think it was the best time for me to watch a doctor perform a procedure involving the rectum?
Ten-Year-Old Boy: Mom, everyone in the play is so excited to have electricity for the first time. Does that mean they didn't have the Internet either?
Mom: Of course they didn't.
Boy: No video games?
Teenage Boy: No YouTube?
Mom: Obviously not. And hopefully no children asking stupid questions.
Man Checking His Playbill After The Show: It says here that the play takes place in "a prosperous spa town outside of New York City, perhaps Saratoga Springs." But no one mentioned horse-racing all night. That's what Saratoga's famous for.
Man # 2: The play is fictional.
Playbill Man: Not entirely. They talk about Thomas Edison. And they use a vibrator called the Chattanooga that really existed then.
Man # 2: Well, yes.
Playbill Man: The author is very selective.
Man # 2: You want only the facts? Stay home and watch The History Channel.
College Student: The main male character is called Dr. Givings. That must be because he's always "giving" treatments.
Student's Mother: That's really your theory?
College Student: Yes.
Student's Father: And why is the doctor's main patient called Mrs. Daldry?
College Student: Because Daldry rhymes with ribaldry. And this is a sexually provocative play, so it fits.
Father To Mother: I pay $55,000 a year so our son can major in literature at Sarah Lawrence, and this is what we get!
Woman With a British Accent: The English painter in the play think he's so original to paint an African-American woman holding a baby. But there's nothing special about a Black Madonna. There were plenty of them done in Europe in the medieval period.
Woman with an American Accent: But they tended to have European features, didn't they?
Brit Woman: Yes. But a black Madonna is a black Madonna.
American Woman: With attitudes like those, I'm glad you can't vote in this country.
Woman Exiting The Theater: I saw Hair last night, and now this one. I liked the nudity in this one better.
Her Escort: Why?
Exiting Woman: Because in this one the nudity wasn't really enjoyed by characters. That's how it should be.
Her Escort: Did you drop any acid in the 60s?
Exiting Woman: No. Why?
Her Escort: You should have.
BRENDAN LEMON is the American theater critic for the Financial Timesand the editor of lemonwade.com.