A revival of the 1968 Eugene Ionesco comedy, “Exit The King” is the tale of a 400-year-old monarch coming to grips with his mortality. The king’s first wife Queen Marguerite (Susan Sarandon at her acerbic best) bluntly tells him his fate, while current Queen Marie (a luminous Lauren Ambrose) refuses to believe the end is near.
Ambrose is excruciatingly heartfelt in her impassioned pleas to King Bergeron (Geoffrey Rush) to will himself to live. Rush turns in a sublime performance -- truly worthy of his recent Tony Award win -- running the gamut of emotion from sentimentality to slapstick. He infuses each line with a lyricism that makes every onstage moment a riveting one.
After the show, Steve and I had a chance to get up close with the cast, all of whom graciously posed for pictures and signed autographs.
Rush seemed (understandably) tired but made sure to greet everyone in the crowd – a few of whom had seen the show multiple times.
Having indulged our inner Broadway fan, Steve and I headed downtown for drinks at Telephone, an Anglophile-themed watering hole in NYC’s East Village.
Over a couple of pints of Hoegarten, we reminisced about old times. Like the Cosmopolitan sex quiz I read out loud as we drove across country when I moved from Illinois to Delaware. And what Steve was wearing when we first met back in ‘01.
He mentioned being unlikely to fit into his old clothes, while I lamented the changes in what he once described as my centerfold stomach.
We had a good laugh about the metabolic shift that accompanies getting older. After all, the battle of the bulge is a lot more manageable when you have good friends to commiserate about it with.