Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Sightings: Raul Esparza

South Florida native Raul Esparza appears in a New York Times article about Speed the Plow. Ben Brantley's story is actually contrasting the performances of Jeremy Piven and the two actors that replaced him after he withdrew for health reasons, Norbert Leo Butz and William H. Macy.

We don't often get to see three A-list actors playing the same role in the same production, and it give Brantley some keen insight into their talents.

Of Mr. Butz, Brantley in part describes his performance in terms of Esparza's:
Almost matching the inexhaustible Mr. Esparza...
And there's more:
Oh, there’s one more thing I want to thank Mr. Piven for. If he hadn’t left when he did, it’s unlikely I would have returned to “Plow” to experience the tremendous pleasure of watching Mr. Esparza and Ms. Moss grow in their roles. They were excellent when I first saw them, but they have acquired new confidence and insights as they adjust their characters’ attitudes in relation to the latest Bobby in their lives.

Mr. Esparza has acquired the timing and assurance of a virtuoso jazz musician, riffing electrically without derailing the melody (and now stopping the show with certain line readings).

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