So, I'm not sure how much discussion it can encourage, but I thought it was mighty time to share the splendid experience I had this weekend.
Several months ago, my mother purchased me the most awesomely outstanding gift for a birthday anyone could ask for. She had gone online and had gotten hotel reservations in New York, along with two tickets -- one for me and one for her (of course!) to the Broadhurst Theatre production of Equus on Broadway. We were both extremely excited to see the show. We're both pretty avid Broadway-nuts, and it was even better to get a chance to see actors like Daniel Radcliffe (The actor who plays the titular character in the Harry Potter films), Richard Griffith (Uncle Vernon in the same movies), and Kate Mulgrew (Captain Janeway off of Star Trek: Voyager). Needless to say, not only were we going to get a treat of high-production stage brilliance, but we were going to get to see several great stars perform!
I don't want to ruin the plot of the play, but Equus is the story of a psychiatrist (Griffiths) trying to rehabilitate a young man (Radcliffe) who has an unexplained fetish for horses. Prior to the play, Radcliffe's character has been found guilty of stabbing out the eyes of six horses with a horseshoe-pick, and it is the psychiatrist's job to bring him back to social normalcy. Throughout the course of the play, many things are discovered between the two characters as the backstory is revealed, and the psychiatrist begins to question whether or not there's any rehabilitating that actually needs to be done.
The show is a considerably primal survey of various things: religion, sexuality, fetishism, social acceptance, and so on. It's rather dark material, but how it was pulled off made me realize that even the most dark, brutal, and wretched subjects can be expressed with doubtless beauty and preservation.
While Richard Griffiths fit his role amazingly, it was Daniel Radcliffe who I was ultimately blown away by. He manages perfectly to bring to life a role that is peppered with visceral sensations, misguided instincts, and even homosexual innuendo. I was even more amazed by his control as an actor, to have no qualms with performing naked (yes, naked), simulating various sexual acts (in an extremely tasteful manner), and to do so with such unwavering composure. His character is heart-breaking yet darkly lovable -- you step out of the theater realizing that, while Alan Strang is a perverted young man, there is something to love in him, and that he represents specific taboo desires that all humans can relate to.
Have any of you had a chance to see this show, or are you familiar with any of it? It's chock-full of self-reflexive dialogue and monologues that cut extremely deep. It's heavy, but uplifting (while simultaneously tragic), and runs a massive gamut of emotions that I can't even begin to recall.
Awesome, awesome stuff. That's all I have to say about that!