Alison Pill and Edie Falco Are Among Naked Angels

PlayBlog   Alison Pill and Edie Falco Are Among Naked Angels
Alison Pill began April in the heroic form of Annie Sullivan, bringing Helen Keller (played by Abigail Breslin) out of the darkness of ignorance, and she ended it quite a bit less heroically as a freshly-freed British jailbird coping uncomfortably with life outside stone walls and with a particularly needy ex-cellmate (Edie Falco) on her doorstep.

That's a big jump from a revival of William Gibson's 1960 The Miracle Worker on Broadway (Circle in the Square) to a new British two-hander by Chloe Moss called This Wide Night Off-Broadway (Peter Jay Sharp Theatre).

It was a relatively smooth and speedy transition, too, according to Geoffrey Nauffts, artistic director for Naked Angels, which is producing this new work at the rented Playwrights Horizons' upstairs theatre. "We had to jump on it with Alison," he said. "The casting was a fairly quick process. We've been eyeballing this play for a while and the talents of Chloe Moss. Edie was the first one we had on board, and then we were trying to find a match for Edie. Alison was always someone we were salivating over, but she was booked and we did not wish any ill will to the wonderful production she was a part of before, but, once we got wind that might not be lasting, we pounced."

Needless to say, Pill was pleased to get back on the horse so fast — and she welcomed the hard work. "Being in any two-person show is exhausting just because you're on all the time," she admitted. "Luckily, it's brilliant, but it’s also just hard being dependent on one other person and have that one other person dependent on you for energy, for carrying the story through — it’s just exhausting."

The company she is currently keeping helps. "It has been such a joy working with Edie and Annie [director Anne Kauffman] and Chloe. We have such a group of kick-ass women on this show. I adore it every single night. We’ve only opened it. We get to go further with it every night we get to do this show, and I’m excited about that."

Falco fell in love with her character on first reading and agreed last fall to do the play during her hiatus from shooting "Nurse Jackie." Even during her days as Carmela Soprano, she made a point of plugging up her free time with stage work. "I just had a small window of time to do this, and it worked out perfectly," she said.

Her performance is as far from Falco and her other characters as she can possibly get — and she can’t tell you how she got there: "I don’t know. I never know. All of a sudden, it turns into somebody else. I never really know what it’s going to be."

In addition to this new Falco, she gets off The Best Upchuck Scene (admittedly, a small category) since God of Carnage, and, true to the tradition that goes with such of stage business: "I’m not telling. It’s the magic of the theatre!"

— Harry Haun

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