A play by Sam Shepard/Directed by Jimmy Fay
Starring Stephen Rea, Sean McGinley
Performances January 12 to March 7, 2010
Atlantic Theater Company, 336 West 20th Street
Not much of consequence happens in Ages of the Moon, Sam Shepard’s new two-hander that plays like a 75-minute comedy sketch. Long-time friends Ames and Byron, who haven’t seen each other in decades, are reunited when Ames feverishly calls Byron in the middle of the night imploring him to hop on a cross-country bus to see him.
There are moments when Shepard’s dialogue includes a vivid image, as when Ames explains that his wife found the young lady’s phone number on his fishing map: he says, “Just scribbled her name and phone number. Right parallel with the Yellowstone River.” There’s also bawdy humor in Shepard’s portrait of old friends turned old men, as in the play’s opening when they debate using the word “minor” to describe a blow job. But Ages of the Moon is best as an actors’ vehicle, and director Jimmy Fay’s staging has two of the finest in Sean McGinley and Stephen Rea.
Sean McGinley beautifully plays Ames’ mostly straight man Byron with a flat American accent—both actors are Irish, don’t forget—that perfectly embodies this everyman, along with a welcome physicality during their bouts of fighting. He and Rea are also delightful during the many moments of silence that Shepard gives the men: those unspoken interludes are the play’s most affecting.
originally posted on timessquare.com