The Pride of Keeping the Secret

PlayBlog   The Pride of Keeping the Secret
Mild spoiler alert here, but there is an act of violence that happens in Off-Broadway's The Pride, now extended to March 28 by MCC Theater. The elephant in the room at the press meet-and-greet last month was The Scene, a moment that seems to come out of nowhere and brings the first act to a stunning close. The cast was reluctant to go into much detail about it, preferring to preserve the surprise. Director Joe Mantello, who had an equally raw scene as an actor in Angels in America, elected to skip the press event altogether.

"It comes out of a very painful, beautiful scene when one man confronts another and tries to break through a wall of lies the other man has constructed around him," Ben Whishaw, one participant, explains. "I'm the guy trying to bring the wall down."

Offers another participant, Hugh Dancy: "I think what makes it strong, actually, is what precedes it. It's the drama, the tension, between the two characters. Just sex on stage, or whatever you want to call it, in itself, for me, can rip all the drama out of the scene. It can be so shocking it can take you right out of it. This comes as a finale to an incredibly tense confrontation between two characters. That's why it works."

Alexi Kaye Campbell, who wrote The Pride (an Olivier Award winner last season now making its U.S. bow at Off-Broadway's Lucille Lortel), takes no small measure of pride in the scene: "Obviously, it makes an impact, but it's kind of the core of the play, really. It's an act of violence around which the whole play reverberates."

— Harry Haun

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