I was excited to see Heisenberg at the Mark Taper Forum for two reasons, namely Mary Louise Parker, but also because of Denis Arndt, an actor I’m sure I’m the only one who remembers from his season 5 stint on L.A. Law (one of my favorite seasons of any TV show ever). He wasn’t a regular, but he did get engaged to lead Grace Van Owen (Susan Dey, her third of four would be husbands). He also spent some time on two other David Kelley shows, Picket Fences and the Practice. Always enjoyed him. And Parker has always been a favorite, from West Wing and Weeds, but going all the way back to the Client, which I thought was a great movie, at the time.

The two-man show was performed in the round with no real set, save for two tables and two chairs, serving to make everything from a bedroom, to a subway station, to a deli, all sold by the expertise of the actors. It was a fun little show, and thankfully, rather brief. It was exciting to see two actors carry us through a story with just their words, and the dialogue was snappy and fun, but Parker’s manic pixie dream woman was a bit too much, saddled with crazed extremes and unfortunate plot devices that she tries too hard to overcome. Arndt keeps things grounded, but what could’ve been an interesting exploration between mismatched characters with an interesting introduction loses steam pretty quickly, devolving into yet another romantic connection, May-December or otherwise.

It breezes by, but as a huge fan of Parker I was left a little disappointed that this was the role for which I finally got to see her live and in person.

My Grade – C

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