Letter: Excellent 'Goat' features two great performances
To the editor:
"The Goat" at the Berkshire Theater Group absolutely blew me away, most especially in the performances of the two leads. The goat is a dream of a "Twilight Zone" episode in which the hero gets to return to a more innocent time, perhaps his childhood, before the burdens of being an adult began to weigh on him. Whether or not Stevie is simply a supportive wife, she is the heart of the play. She is the one who has to grapple with what her husband Martin's revelation means when she reads it back into all of their prior interactions. Who did I fall in love with?
I felt that the actors were so fully committed to their characters that at one moment during their extended fight I woke up to realize that I was responding to them like real people in a real argument about a real marriage. Actors talk about how another actor "gives" them something to work with. Jennifer Van Dyck and David Adkins went all in. I just don't believe the miracle of timing and the ebb and flow of emotion in that scene could have worked if the two of them hadn't been committed, not only to the characters, but to each other as professionals. They each trusted that the other was going to "bring it" - in a positive sense. I don't know how they do that night after night, at that pitch.
My wife and I live in New York City and have subscriptions to several theater groups, as well as seeing other plays both off and on Broadway. This production, for me, ranks up there with some of the best I have ever seen. I would urge everyone who has the stomach for the subject matter to see it.