Thursday, June 23, 2016


Blackbird is an intense drama starring Jeff Daniels and Michelle Williams. I saw it on its final weekend on Broadway. Michelle Williams plays a woman who confronts the man with whom she had an affair 15 years ago. When she was 12 and he was 40.

The drama is taught and emotionally exhausting. The two actors are trapped in a nondescript office break room revisiting a past that has haunted them both. Williams is frail and wild, angry and vulnerable. Daniels is shut down and defeated, and also angry.

Blackbird is multi-layered, as we slowly learn that Williams is not simply angry at her abuser, she is furious at the lover who abandoned her. She carries a complicated wound, and it seems her physical fibers are defined by betrayal and loss.

90 minutes, no intermission, this drama maintains a high pitch throughout. The final scenes -- when Daniels' step-daughter enters -- are so wrenching, and the final moment devastating. The audience, deathly quiet throughout, immediately stood up in a standing ovation.

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