Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Chris Cooper and Marianne Leone do Sam Shepard proud:

From left: Steve Maier, Marianne Leone, Jim True-Frost, and Chris Cooper 
at the Boston Center for the Arts. (Bill Brett for The Boston Globe)

Hats off to Academy Award winner Chris Cooper and his extraordinarily talented actress wife Marianne Leone who gave mesmerizing performances at the Boston Center for the Arts on Monday night for a Commonwealth Shakespeare Company-produced staged reading of the Sam Shepard play “Curse of the Starving Class.’’ Directed by Steppenwolf Theater Company veteran Jim True-Frost and hosted by CSC's artistic director Steve Maler, Cooper and Leone were joined by a talented ensemble of fellow Boston-based actors who dazzled the sold-out audience. 

Known primarily as a film actor, Chris Cooper has appeared on Broadway only once--back in 1980. Marianne Leone has never played the Great White Way. As I watched each of them exhibit their stage chops Monday night in this rarely performed but incredibly timely (and funny) play, I couldn't help but think that--in the not too distant future--they should both seriously consider making room for a Tony Award next to that Oscar on their mantlepiece.