I saw Reservoir Dogs for the first time last night.
But not the Quentin Tarantino film version.
It was the latest Live Read at LACMA. And Jason Reitman did a little something different with it.
If there is one thing these Live Reads have taught me, it’s the importance and possibility of a strong script. This was the second-to-last one, and I can’t tell you how much I’m going to miss them. I get that Jason’s a film director, and that’s what he wants to do, and this was just something to do in his spare time, but they’re so. much. fun.
Did you click that link and see the cast? Terrence Howard, Cuba Gooding Jr., Anthony Mackie, Anthony Anderson…In addition, Chi McBride showed up (Pushing Daisies FTW!) as did Patton Oswalt (token white guy!), Common (!), and Laurence Fishburne (Morpheus! Ike Turner! Cowboy Curtis!!).
Having never seen the movie with an all-white cast, I couldn’t help but think it worked really well with this cast. The guys had so much fun and it was much more lively than previous readings. Shannon brought up the point that because the language is so colorful it kind of encourages a boisterous, active read.
My favorite part of these events has been to watch the actors little nuances. (See also: the time Oprah Winfrey spoke at my college graduation and I spent the speech staring at her toes.) Last night it was the way Patton Oswalt (true to form) kept cracking everyone up (and visibly impressing his cast mates) with his different voices, and the interactions between Cuba Gooding Jr. and Terrence Howard.
Bromance alert. For serious. They were having so much fun. Leg squeezes, side hugs, whispers.
Terrence was so into character (Mr. Blond) that at times he went off book having memorized his lines. He held the microphone instead of leaving it on the stand and he would turn in his chair and face Common (Mr. Brown, who was to his right) or Cuba (Mr. Orange, to his left) when talking to them. He would also take his glasses off at certain points for effect.
Spoiler alert ahead.
When it came time for him to die, he was all, I’m not ready to die yet! So Jason had him get shot several times before he succumbed.
They had us in stitches. And got a couple of rounds of applause and even standing ovations (by a sprinkling of people) during the read.
The other fun part about last night versus the other times I’ve gone is that while waiting outside, we were in a position at the back of the line that was prime for spotting the actors’ arrivals and smoke breaks. So we got to see Terrence in his smoking jacket and flowy scarf (cigar and drink in hand) welcome Cuba and his son. We also got a sneak peek at the surprise that was Laurence Fishburne’s participation. (Jason likes to leave a few roles open when he announces the cast, which gives each reading a “who else will show up” element.)
So next month is apparently the last one as Jason starts his next film project. Again the movie that will be read hasn’t been announced, but the reading sold out in the first 15 minutes. So it looks like I’ll be taking a place in the standby line, which I gladly will, as I don’t want to miss the last one! Because you know it’s going to be good.
As far as watching the real Reservoir Dogs, I guess I will as I did like the story. But we met a woman in line who after seeing the Shampoo live read went home and watched Shampoo. She said she liked the live read better. So I’m thinking that might happen.