“The Busy World Is Hushed” By Keith Bunin

“The Busy World Is Hushed”
By Keith Bunin
Narrated by: Jill Clayburgh, Hamish Linklater, Luke Macfarlane
Length: 1 hr and 48 mins
Published October 1st 2007 by LA Theatre Works (first published January 31st 2007)

There is a lot unfolding in this play. Religion and relationships seem to be the biggest so I’m going to try to focus on those, however there are a few other topics/feelings/philosophy that I may touch on. Just keep in mind this is a very heady play. I’m probably going to revisit this one soon. Next time I may read the hard copy of the play rather than listen to a performance, but only because there is so much to absorb.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with this audio production. Of course it is an L.A. Theatre Works production, and I don’t recall ever hearing a bad production from them. The actors are always top notch and the production places the listener right in the middle of the audience. This time around the performance features two of my new favorite actors, Hamish Linklater (I became a fan of his after watching the series “Legion”) and Luke Macfarlane (I bacame a fan of his after watching “Killjoys”). I don’t think I ever thought I would picture them doing a love scene together, but surprises are good. Okay it wasn’t a love scene but rather an intimacy scene.

This play is full of ups and downs on the emotional rollercoaster and very smart conversations on religion. Jill Clayburgh plays Hannah a minister researching the gospels. She’s working on a translation when she hires an assistant, Brant (played by Linklater). Brant notices her work needs some organizing, she doesn’t even have bookshelves, and is pretty much hired on the spot. A relationship between Brant and Thomas, Hannah’s son (played by Macfarlane). In what in actuality is really a pretty short play, some intense conversations about life, love, religion and purpose are discussed.

My only problem with this play is that it was too short. I was left with a feeling of “Is that all?” But at the same time I enjoyed the conversations and the level of intellect those conversations covered in the play. I would say that there were at least 30 plays that could be developed out of the many topics this one play covers, and I just wanted more.

Publisher’s Summary

With wisdom, humor and insight, The Busy World Is Hushed examines the contradictions we find in our faith, our families, and ourselves. Hannah, a widowed Episcopal minister, is hoping to translate a long-lost gospel when she is challenged by both her scholarly assistant and her wayward gay son. But when family secrets are revealed, only the intercession of a stranger can help Hannah find peace.

(P)2007 L.A. Theater Works