Seawall/A Life at Hudson Theatre

Earlier this year, I saw Cillian Murphy in Grief is the Thing with Feathers at St. Ann’s Warehouse in Brooklyn. It was the first live-action play I’ve seen outside of school theatre productions, and it was an experience I will never forget. I consider myself lucky to have had my first theatre experience in such an intimate venue and witness such an organic and cathartic performance by a renowned actor. The play was based on a book that was written by a grieving son. The plot explored different elements of life and death in the most vulnerable, and borderline offensive way had it not been presented to an audience that came for exactly that. I knew that this experience sparked a new interest for me. I was more than excited to plan my next viewing of a live-action performance.

On Thursday, September 26, I visited Hudson Theatre’s box office in hopes of buying a ticket for Seawall/A Life on Broadway starring Jake Gyllenhaal and Tom Sturridge. I have been wanting to attend one of the showings for over 2 months and I was finally getting around to committing to a ticket. Luckily, I was able to get a seat in the middle of the dress circle (second level). The theatre was not as small as St. Ann’s Warehouse in Brooklyn, but the performance was so genuine that it all felt personal and private. The show was composed of two 45-minute halves, the first 45 minutes (Seawall) performed by Tom Sturridge and the second (A Life) by Jake Gyllenhaal. Seawall is about Alex, a father who lost his 8-year-old daughter in an accident at the beach, while he was distracted by the calmness of the ocean, and memory of searching for a seawall. A Life is about Abe, a newlywed man who struggles with the idea of becoming a father of his newborn baby, Mary, when he can’t seem to get over being a son to his late father, who died of heart disease. Jake and Tom were able to push the boundaries of human emotion in a way that seemed so effortless, and natural and for that, the audience was grateful. The production touched on a variety of different aspects of human life; there was something for everyone to be able to relate.

I was able to see this production for only $45 because I’m a student! Take advantage of your age and student status while you still have it. There are so many opportunities as students in New York City to take advantage of, but you have to keep an eye open for them. Maybe you’ll be able to grab Broadway show tickets for half the price and shake Jake Gyllenhaal’s hand.