Overall Score + Emoji
ESTA: A / 🤩
Outstanding acting. Smart-creative blocking. Excellent updating of a play written years ago and still sadly totally current today.
AARON: B+ / 🤩
Agree with everything you stated above. However, TAKE ME OUT was less of a grand slam and more of a home run for me.
ESTA: I have two memorable scenes.
1. It has to be the shower. I have seen full-frontal nudity before on stage, but I never witnessed six gorgeous men taking a shower before my eyes that were completely naked. I imagined the nudity would be quickly removing a towel in the locker room… silly me. They did that as well. Why is this scene so memorable? Because it was so tastefully blocked and performed by each of the actors. The written words took command, which is not easy to do when you are naked as a jaybird. And I have to mention that each of these actors was gorgeous. 🙂
2. My other favorite scene was in the jail, and the sh*t hits the fan. Truths of how someone feels about others were mind-boggling but delivered with sheer authenticity. To create that scene of anger, angst, and passion would be difficult for the actors to do eight times a week. As I sat there listening and cringing at every word, I felt like it was the very “first time “they were spoken. What a gift to witness.
AARON: I nearly cried a “foul ball” hearing my mom comment on how gorgeous each actor in a show was… naked. 😬 And I also never thought I would approve of her opinion. I haven’t seen nudity in theatre before. I also haven’t seen nudity done in a way that is less about the shock and more about how it services the scenes. Without the nudity, the homophobic undercurrents in TAKE ME OUT wouldn’t come out as clear. With them, it’s spellbinding.
However, it’s the scene with Mason (Jesse Tyler Ferguson) that had me on the edge of my seat. He gives a speech midway through the show that only works in a live theatre. I loved it.
Who’s the MVP?
ESTA: I thoroughly loved Jesse Tyler Ferguson. He was the true comic relief who never felt stilted or overdone. His portrayal of Mason was understated, powerful, sweet, and funny.
When Jesse was alone on stage, he was at his best. His command of the written word was phenomenal. He could do any number of facial expressions, hand gestures, or body movements, and he would keep the entire audience laughing, feeling, believing. He was truly amazing. His role was not huge, but he made it memorable.
AARON: 💯 aligned with your “draft pick.”
Explain why this show is important for audiences to see in your own words.
ESTA: Homophobia is still present in our current society on every level. It traps people in cages that they never wanted to live in. It forces people of both genders to be wary of coming out and being true to who they are. It is hateful and hurtful to all souls. We are living in a divisive society. It is a sad state of events but very real. The more we talk about difficult topics like this, perhaps we will be able to break down a few fences and find our way back together. All everyone really wants is to be loved. TAKE ME OUT shined a necessary light on a problem that is not going away.
AARON: After seeing TAKE ME OUT, I thought of this quote from DEAR EVAN HANSON – “The parts we can’t tell, we carry them well, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t heavy.” With TAKE ME OUT, it’s a damn shame that it has been 20 years since the original play premiered on Broadway and the heavy themes are even more relevant today. As my mom stated, “we live in a divisive society.” TAKE ME OUT turns the spotlight on people that are scared to face the fact that “what they fear might be what they are.”
AARON: TAKE ME OUT is a challenging but essential play. After getting “hit by the pitch” so hard, post TAKE ME OUT; it’s good to balance it with a “curveball” light-hearted experience. If I was to see it again, I would pair it with something like SIX or THE MUSIC MAN.
ESTA: I love a play that makes me think and leaves me wanting more. TAKE ME OUT certainly did that. It was an emotional roller coaster ride watching consummate acting on stage while revealing truths about our society. Theatre at its best, for sure.