Up All Night with The 24 Hour Plays

Published November 15, 2011

 

ABOVE: MEGAN FOX AT THE 24 HOUR PLAYS AFTER-PARTY.

Last night, Megan Fox, Greta Gerwig, Jesse Eisenberg, Jason Biggs, and 21 other film and television actors took to the stage for the 10th annual 24 Hour Plays on Broadway, presented by Montblanc. The brave bunch performed six original plays written, rehearsed, and produced within, you guessed it, 24 hours. Sounds rather nerve-wracking, doesn’t it? “There will be no art tonight,” Billy Crudup informed the audience as he waltzed across stage in the evening’s first play. Perhaps not, but there was a great deal of fun—Megan Fox, Sarah Silverman and Tracy Morgan jumping up and down, wearing rabbit ears, yelling “I’m a bunny” fun.  David Cross (aka Tobias Fünke) as a gold-sequined hot-pant-wearing aficionado of disco and blaxploitation films fun. More importantly, there was the $400,000 the event has raised for the Urban Arts Partnership, a charity dedicated to promoting and preserving the arts in urban public schools and with which Montblanc is directly involved.

Many of the actors involved are “repeat offenders,” coming back year after year. “It’s just a blast,” said Justin Long. “This is my fourth year doing it.” The hardest part about performing a play you first read that morning? “The whole bowel situation, maintaining the bowels,” Long somewhat alarmingly responded. “I’m actually not even joking… that [advice] was passed down to me by Morgan Freeman.” Other actors are first-timers.  “I haven’t been on a stage since 1998,” says Paul Bettany, who acted in the aforementioned Megan-Sarah-Tracy bunny play. “I felt like I was carrying the whole thing,” he deadpans.

 

JOHN KRASINSKI, TRACY MORGAN, DIANE NEAL, ROSIE PEREZ, AND RACHEL DRATCH

There were many surreal moments to the evening: listening to Rutina Wesley talk without her southern True Blood accent, talking to Michael K. Williams and realizing that he is not actually Omar from The Wire in real-life, watching Rosie Perez, Diane Neal, Victor Rasuk and musicians Andy Davis and Laura Bell Bundy dance in a middle-school-style circle at the after-party. However, by far the most unsettling part of the evening was seeing Jack McBrayer (aka Kenneth from 30 Rock) walk around without his NBC Page uniform. The man was wearing jeans. Fortunately for those of us who have problems separating fiction from reality, McBrayer wore a maid’s outfit for his role on stage as “Jonathan,” Paul Bettany’s maid and lust object.