Seldom do I see a play that captivates me from the moment the curtain opens until it closes, but All New People did just that. The opening 5 minutes has you gasping and laughing nearly nonstop. There are a few moments where the energy dips a bit, but I feel that is more due to flubs in performance than anything. Being an actor/director I tend to keep a close eye on the consistency of a character because as soon as you lose that, I don’t care to watch anymore. The couple times I thought it was going to happen the actors went right ahead and redeemed themselves. Zach Braff plays a hauntingly desperate character whose intelligence brings a lot of light out of the darkness within him. The supporting cast is witty, charming, and brutally obnoxious which makes for a sensationally funny 90 minutes of entertainment.
Directed beautifully by Peter Dubois of Boston’s Huntington Theatre, All New People skillfully uses the inside of a high end Long Beach Island summer home from start to finish. The set is decorated brilliantly with decadent art prominent throughout. A spiral staircase, set just off center, remained a focal point for me throughout as it represented the higher class in which the four characters did not fit. Lights and sound do a wonderful job setting and keeping the mood as the piece glides on. There are also some interesting surprises using projections on the safety curtain that add to the depth of each character and then as a result to the story as a whole.
I left this play feeling as though I need to write something important or relevent or SOMETHING. I got home and immediately started going through various plays, poems, and songs I’ve written to see if anything could be expanded or would trigger an idea for something new. I’ve been feeling rather down and lonely as of late and wondering why I’ve come to London in the first place. Now I know. I got the job to move to London to see Zach Braff’s All New People which has inspired me to truly get back into writing and finish something that I’m proud of. I’ve constantly been telling myself I should go back to my writing. Now I know it’s a necessity. Just in time for me to go home for 9 days, reset a little bit, then come back to London and work.