I know where Woody Harrelson was last night between 8 and 10 pm. He was sitting two rows behind David and me at the theatre, where FOFs Frances McDormand and Estelle Parsons were starring in a play called Good People. I don’t know about Woody, but David and I loved the show, which has been nominated for a Tony Award. Frances plays a downtrodden woman who grew up in Boston’s tough Irish neighborhood and never got out. She reunites with a high school boyfriend, who is now a successful doctor, and confronts him about his values. It is funny, sad and tragic all at once, just like our real lives.
Frances and Estelle aren’t celebrities. They’re brilliant actors. You forget who they are as the play moves forward. They become the characters. Estelle is Frances’s wise-cracking landlady, who also babysits for her grown, mentally handicapped daughter. She has as much energy today as she did playing Blanche Barrow in Bonnie & Clyde, which earned her an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress in 1967. She looks incredible at 84.
The two actors also eschew glamor, not just for the roles they play, but in real life. As they took their curtain calls, and the audience enthusiastically applauded their performances, the expressions of pride on their faces showed how much their craft means to them.
Bravo Estelle and Frances! Bravo.