(Ben Brantley’s article appeared in The New York Times, 12/14; via Pam Green.)
Even the most dry-eyed among us get weepy in December. There’s something about short, dark days piling up toward another year’s end, while carolers trill about comfort and joy, that brings out the Niobe in men and women of stone. Put one of them in front of a television with James Stewart on the brink in “It’s a Wonderful Life,” and you’ll need mops to wipe up the tears.
If you’ve finally had your fill of that movie but are still in search of seasonal catharsis, might I suggest a very charming alternative, one that offers sentimentality without shame? It’s called “Every Brilliant Thing,” and it’s pretty much guaranteed to keep your eyes brimming.
Granted, you may have to restrain yourself from out-and-out bawling. You see, even though it’s advertised as a one-man show, it’s quite possible that you’ll be asked to become a cast member of this production, which opened on Sunday night at the Barrow Street Theater. And you wouldn’t want to let down its ingratiating star, the British comedian Jonny Donahoe, by blubbering.