Over the 2014 holiday season, I was lucky enough to find myself seeing a couple shows on Broadway while I visited New York. The first show I saw was The River, the play by Jez Butterworth that Hugh Jackman is currently starring in at the Circle In The Square theatre. That is one of the most intimate theatres I’ve ever had the pleasure of seeing a show in, and it enhanced my enjoyment of the show tremendously. The River also stars Laura Donnelly and Cush Jumbo.The River is the story of a fisherman who has brought his girlfriend to his fishing cabin in order to fish for sea trout as they head back to the river in which they spawned. While this is happening, the audience is seeing the fisherman and his relationship with his girlfriend, as well as how it plays out as a whole. Saying anything more than that would completely spoil the story told in the play.
While it can be a weakness to not really know where the play is going as a whole, especially since the ending is a bit open, I really appreciated that, because it allowed me to draw on my knowledge of various mythologies and use that to find a parable in the The River as it is presented. For me, having this ability added tons of value to the production. (Plus, it’s nearly impossible to complain when you have such gorgeous and talented people on the stage.) I’m so glad I was able to experience it and see one of my favorite actors of all time performing live in front of me.
After the show, I was also able to wait to see Hugh at the stage door. When he came out, at first he missed seeing me, but my sister was able to call him back, which allowed us to have a very quick conversation. I’d previously met Hugh at San Diego Comic-Con while he was promoting the movie Real Steel, and while that happened, I’d been smushed into the security barrier by other people wanting to see him. I mentioned this to him, and his eyes lit up. He then proceeded to give me a high five and from that, hold my hand for a few seconds. It was a pretty incredible moment to know that Hugh, at least, vaguely remembered me from another short meeting.
As a fan of theatre, I’d recommend The River to anyone who has an open mind and is willing to think when they see a performance. If you’re in New York and interested in seeing the show, you need to hurry! The River will only be running through February 8, 2015. You can learn more about the show, as well as buy tickets, from the play’s website.