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"I think this will make you forget Mr. Monk," Shalhoub slyly smiled. "It's very different. Much, much darker." City Beat

The Scene is now available on DVD (because I have a friend who has a friend who snuck in a camera and recorded it.) Under the circumstances it's rather well done, but not professional quality. If you decide to order don't expect perfection. This play is unedited. It contains strong language and adult situations. Viewer discretion is advised.

Use the "buy now" button above to pay by credit card with Paypal or email me for more information.
$12.00 (includes postage)

`The Scene' Dissects Life in Manhattan
Thursday, January 11, 2007
(01-11) 15:03 PST NEW YORK, (AP) --

"It's the only true pleasure left in the world, trashing other people — especially when they have something you want," says the morose, jealous actor whose life is unraveling in "The Scene," Theresa Rebeck's stiletto-sharp dissection of four residents of that peculiar island known as Manhattan.

scene 1

We are in a trendy environment where ambition is all and the quest to succeed permeates the lives of Rebeck's driven characters. The play, which opened Thursday at off-Broadway's Second Stage Theatre, takes what is basically a domestic comedy of infidelity and filters it through Rebeck's keen and often quite funny look at people who work in show business — or want to work in show business.

Charlie, a middle-aged actor, was once employed in the biz — and that's the problem. His promising past has stretched into a barren present and what looks like will be a bleak future. As played by the sublimely hangdog Tony Shalhoub, he's a man in a perpetual funk.


After one particularly brutal humiliation — at the hands of an old friend who has written a television pilot — Charlie explodes in an expletive-filled rage that the marvelous Shalhoub delivers with the bravura of an opera singer belting out a high C.

His verbal conflagration is witnessed by the daffy yet sexy Clea, a seemingly bubble-headed young woman from Ohio who's newly arrived in New York, but wise in the ways of attracting men. Anna Camp, in one of the season's most delightful performances, plays her with voracious self-absorption. She's canny and winning at the same time, a difficult combination to pull off, but Camp does it with ease.

Sooner rather than later, the two are in bed, despite Charlie being married to Stella, an extremely competent career woman who books guests on an unnamed talk show. Efficiency is all, much to the detriment of her husband's self-esteem.

Stella is the play's least convincing character, a role that Patricia Heaton (best known for her role on television's "Everybody Loves Raymond") can't quite bring to life. She is a woman trapped in a job she does superbly despite her loathing for it.

scene 2
Completing the play's quartet of players is Lewis, Charlie's honorable best friend portrayed by the excellent Christopher Evan Welch. He is one of those rare actors who can convey a lot with just a soulful glance or a one-word response to a difficult, complex question.
Scene 4
Lewis, of course, has always pined for Stella, which adds another layer of anxiety — and a smidgen of poignancy — to the mostly brittle proceedings. He is the most likable person on stage, a man whose feelings extend beyond himself.

Rebeck's often raucous dialogue is pungent and tough, ricocheting among the characters as if it were a high-speed tennis ball. Director Rebecca Taichman and her four performers make sure the ball is never dropped.

Other Praise for Tony's Performance

Shalhoub is superb going through the various moods of frustration, dejection, sarcasm and desperation. Wolf Entertainment Guide

Mr. Shalhoub, whose role as the gentle obsessive-compulsive on “Monk” doesn’t allow much in the way of actorly extroversion, clearly relishes the chance to cut loose. His captivatingly raw performance is rich in physical comedy — a gymnastic sex scene that practically puts Charlie in traction is priceless — and in seething arias of vituperation freely expressed. In moments of anguished silence, Mr. Shalhoub also communicates the pathos in the character’s susceptibility to the promise of escape from his thwarted life, even if self-assertion comes at the price of self-destruction. NY TIMES

The carefully calibrated histrionics by Shalhoub are a wonder to watch. Theatermania

The character who engages us on a more emotional level and makes The Scene rise above its slickness and often predictable plot developments is Tony Shalhoub as Charlie, the down and out middle-aged, angst and anger riddled actor whose marriage Clea destroys without a flicker of conscience.... Shalhoub's passion mixed with the awkwardness of a man too old and out of practice to keep up with an uninhibited twenty-two year old's energies is a rioutous bit of physical comedy. Curtain Up

The main figure in any work simply has to be compelling, and you can’t take your eyes off the annoying, dyspeptic narcissist magnificently played by Tony Shalhoub in The Scene. Time Out New York

The most nuanced character by far is Charlie, who gives voice to the play's most incisive sentiments. Humanized by Shalhoub's rumpled charm, oddly skewed line readings and the disappointment etched deep into his face, his dilemma becomes surprisingly immediate despite the character's weakness. A smart, talented man worn down by his own failings and by watching undeserving others advance, Charlie's appalled by the rules of success, by the empty values being endorsed all around him. But he can't resist making a fumbled bid to embrace them with Clea, the embodiment of everything he scorns.

Tony Shalhoub's big rant in the first act is classic. What an incredible actor. This Yale trained TV star's defection from the stage is a crime. NY1

In a role that takes him from bilious braying to pathetically plastered to poetically crazed, the star of television's "Monk" shows his range and depth. Rebeck has given him yards of spiky speeches, and reaches her high point in the final scene. Connecticut Stage

The Scene is utterly delightful in its comedic performances, and its slowly unraveling plot is thought-provoking and gut-wrenching. The latter owes more to Shaloub’s approach toward his character, whom the audience always favors — even when he’s committed adultery and seeks solace in the bottom of a vodka bottle. When Shaloub finally reaches enlightenment, it is heartbreaking to watch — but at least he has a heart (and soul) to break. Show Business Weekly

Scene 5
Tony Shalhoub

Scene 6
Patricia Heaton

Scene 7
Anna Camp

Scene 8
Christoper Evan Welch



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