Clyde's on livestream (spoilers at end)
Posted by: mikem 01:03 pm EST 01/16/22

I caught the Clyde's livestream on Friday night. Edmund Donovan was out but his understudy, Stephen Michael Spencer, was just fine. (Incidentally, the show only had 54 post-opening performances. Between Covid and planned absences, I wonder how many had the full cast. Flying Over Sunset, also closing today, only had 27 post-opening performances and I think had a key cast member out for quite a few.)

From a technical point of view, the livestream was really excellent, and I would definitely do it again. There were some early reports of misplaced camera shots and other glitches, but there was none of that. My only glitch was probably related to my own fairly old computer, in that a couple of times the stream froze and I had to push pause and then play to get out of it. But I was back up in 20 or 30 seconds. The shots were extremely well-chosen, the audience volume level was just right, and it really felt like a good substitute for being there. For me at least, that the livestream was truly live was key, and I appreciate Second Stage having done this. Most of the evening performances this week sold out of their livestream allotment, so I think it was probably a success for Second Stage as well.

I really hope that livestreaming takes off and other shows start offering this option. There is an audience for it, at least during the pandemic.

Someone on the other board posted that Second Stage is planning on doing this for their next show, which is "Take Me Out." Given how much nudity is in that show, it would be much more complicated. I'm not sure all actors would be comfortable having nudity livestreamed out to home computers. Second Stage could try blurring parts of the screen, but that might not work exactly as hoped in a live performance unless a large portion of the screen is blurred.

(Spoilers below)

As for the show itself, the cast was great but there was very little plot and I wish that there had been more forward movement. Uzo Aduba is very funny but she essentially acts out the same interaction with the other characters over and over. The scenes feel almost interchangeable and, except for the last scene, they feel like they could be in almost any order. There is a little bit more of a build with the scenes of the other cast members, but, except for Jason the new guy and again except for the last scene, there's repetition here, too.

I did not realize until reading reviews afterwards that Jason is the same character as Jason in the playwright's Sweat. It would have been interesting if Will Pullen, who played that role at the Public and on Broadway, could have played the role again. I also didn't know that James Colby, who played the barkeep, died a little less than 8 months after Sweat's Broadway run closed. He was really outstanding in that show, and I was sorry to learn of his passing.

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