Smart People featuring Tessa Thompson, Mahershala Ali, Anne Son and… Joshua Jackson (!). We’d been planning to go see it ever since we first heard about it back in November and I didn’t really have any expectations going in, other than hoping it would be good. But I was really impressed with both the story and the acting.
The play takes place during the time for Obama’s first election and focuses on four Harvard intellectuals as they debate, discuss and experience racial and gender equality, sex, politics, ego and more.
Before Smart People, the only shows I’d seen were musicals so I loved the experience of watching a story like this unfold on stage. Its social commentary was intense and thought-provoking but somehow still funny and sexy. Although the latter, for me, was definitely attributed to Joshua Jackson (he has a couple scenes that made my jaw drop but more on my inner fangirl later). I thought he played his role extremely well. He was charming but oftentimes his rants would make me uncomfortable, especially as he became increasingly angry in his need to feel validated. But I think that’s exactly what his role was supposed to do. Another standout was Tessa Thompson. She just has an amazing stage presence. She was earnest and funny and the most idealistic of the cast. I also thought Anne Son (whose role reminded me a lot of Cristina Yang from Grey’s Anatomy) and Mahershala Ali were good too but they did somewhat feel like supporting characters at times.
Now for my fangirl moment. I had never been to Second Stage Theatre before so I was surprised by how small it was. Which meant that when Joshua Jackson appeared, all I could think was — I’M IN THE SAME ROOM AS JOSHUA JACKSON! He’s seriously even more good-looking in person. He’s also in several states of undress during the play, which I was not complaining about. (And I'm pretty sure Alicia Keys was in the audience, sitting a few seats away from us, which was really cool too.)
So basically if you’re in NYC before the show ends its run on March 6, I would definitely recommend checking it out. I, on the the other hand, will keep my fingers crossed that I’ll magically run into Joshua Jackson around the city until then.