Lanford Wilson’s BURN THIS is a good script where what the heart wants the heart needs to get despite odds and likelihood. I saw a wonderful production of this work at Signature Theatre in 2002 with Edward Norton and Catherine Keener. It is not a good sign when that production is a more compelling memory than the one with Adam Driver and Keri Russell I saw just a few weeks ago.
To be fair I saw an early preview and I must assume it developed further before opening night was reached last night. But there was a precious spark that was missing between the leads that is at the heart of the play. In a way they are too sexy and too good looking. The characters Lanford has written are very real people and not icons. Norton and Keener are handsome enough but winningly and rawly human. As unlikely the pairing of the characters Pale and Anna is, the Signature production made it achingly necessary and yet hard to believe. I missed that in this production.
Production and other acting credits are excellent but it never quite came together for me as I wished it would.