Barricades lined the streets in the West Village. President Obama was in town, dining at Sarah Jessica Parker’s for a fundraiser in his honor. Aretha Franklin was there leaving in a flash for the Songwriters Hall of Fame, according to my pal Roger Friedman. But this was also the opening of a night of Neil LaBute’s 3 one-acters The Heart of the Matter, to benefit MCC Theater at the Lucille Lortel Theater just a few blocks away. While I had not thought of it before, there is a slight connection: LaBute, a playwright known to skewer human relations, what used to be called the battle of the sexes, could have penned episodes for the Sex & the City women, but they would have been more arch, and much meaner.
Eddie Kaye Thomas, the actor who plays Ted, spoke about the mysteries inherent in performing in a Neil LaBute play, grateful that the ambiguity came across. The actors have to figure out what’s happening, and that changes every night. But didn’t you ask the playwright? Yes, but he was no help at all.