Coastal Elites

By Joanna Langfield

I owe Paul Rudnick an apology. While I was complaining he wasn’t posting his gloriously acerbic tweets enough, he was shaping this series of monologues about life as it is now, reminding us with a poignant hilarity, we are not alone.

What started as a series of theater pieces has transformed, under Jay Roach’s direction, into a theater piece a la Covid, in other words, a play shot to look as if it’s been Facetimed, with a handful of terrific actors telling us their stories, by themselves, in their rooms. We begin with Bette Midler, who brings us a New York City Jewish woman, brimming with life and anger toward a man wearing a certain red hat. Hers is the anchor piece and it’s pretty relatable, especially if you follow Midler’s Twitter page, although here, and I’m sure she’d agree, the writing is sharper. Sarah Paulson and Dan Levy handle less vivid but eventually touching pieces, relating to divided families and superheroes getting real in Hollywood. Issa Rae’s turn, as a former boarding school classmate of Ivanka Trump’s, is, perhaps the most surprising and openhearted, but Kaitlyn Dever’s exhausted nurse, trying to care for Covid patients in a big New York City hospital, is compassionate and had me, for several reasons, in tears.