ABOVE: JUSTIN LONG, OLVIA WILDE, AND BILLY CRUDUP IN JONATHAN MARC SHERMAN’S “RESERVATION FOR ROCKWELL.”
Have you ever wondered whether Shoshanna of Girls and Kenneth of 30 Rock would have chemistry as a couple? Or what Rachel Dratch and an undead Eddie Kaye Thomas would talk about on a date? If Olivia Wilde would kiss you for 10,000 dollars? What Justin Long and Billy Crudup might look like in matching Hooters, abs-baring tank tops? Whether Justin Long’s impression of Sam Rockwell would trump Billy Crudup’s impression? Or who would triumph in a dance-off between Long and Rockwell himself? Neither had we, but therein lies the beauty of Montblanc’s annual 24 Hour Plays on Broadway.
For the 12th consecutive year, six writers, six directors, and 27 actors assembled at the American Airlines theater on Sunday night. Their task: to write, rehearse, and perform six original plays within 24 hours. To spark the writers’ minds, each actor presented a prop—Taran Killam brought a cat-sized, plastic deer, Anthony Mackie a cap, and Seth Green a rather hopeful scrubs and stethoscope (Green ended up wearing dungarees and a mustache).
Most plays were pure silliness, relying on fantastical costumes or accidental slips and trips for laughs: Jason Biggs serenading Rachel Dratch and Eddie Thomas Kaye with John Lennon’s “Imagine,” Zosia Mamet metamorphisizing into a horse called “either Whitney or Velvet,” Vincent Piazza in bejewelled underwear, Gina Gershon in a peroxide wig, Taran Killam in a plastic breastplate, and Kristen Schaal as a Romney supporter with a German accent and a petition to “impeach the socialist.”
“There [are] a lot of divas,” joked Jason Biggs, a frequent participant of the plays. “Fortunately tonight I was working with a good group, but if I was working with someone like Seth Green or Olivia Wilde…”
One standout play, however, was Jonathan Marc Sherman’s Reservation for Rockwell, starring “repeat offenders” Justin Long and Billy Crudup, as well as Sam Rockwell and Olivia Wilde. “Billy doesn’t do enough comedy, he’s great,” remarked Seth Green when we asked him about his favorite play. “Like America needs me to tell them that. Newsflash: Billy Crudup’s really good at his job!” he laughed.
The jovial mood continued to the red carpet and after party at B.B. King’s, where we spotted Rosie Perez and Rockwell breaking it down together on the dance floor, Macaulay Culkin chatting at the bar, and Questlove wearing a “the legendary Roots” sweatshirt. Jason Sudeikis and Austin Butler also came out to support their significant others.
All proceeds from the production go towards Urban Arts Partnership, an organization that works with 95 schools and over 11,000 children in underserved areas to provide students with an arts education and a creative outlet. Among the other actors involved in the production were Amber Heard, Amber Tamblyn, America Ferrara, board member Diane Neal, Emmanuelle Chriqui, Fisher Stevens, Gabourey Sidibe, Mickey Sumner, Maura Tierney, Tracie Thoms, and Vanessa Hudgens.
FOR MORE INFORMATION ON URBAN ARTS PARTNERSHIP OR TO DONATE, PLEASE VISIT THEIR WEBSITE.