Film Independent At LACMA Presents Live Read Of "Dazed And Confused"

This was Whitney Cummings‘ first live read but I think she’ll be back. She had two small but memorable roles as Mitch’s new squeeze Julie and also the senior destructor Darla, originated by Parker Posey. Darla doesn’t have a huge role in the movie but Cummings, like Posey, made her count. She twirled her hair with one hand and delivered the obnoxious, but hilarious and perfect line “Air raid!” with full volume and venomous delight.

Film Independent At LACMA Presents Live Read Of "Dazed And Confused"

Mikalia Watkins also had two very important roles. Her main role, as Jodi the older sister of Mitch originated by Michelle Burke, was solid. But as Cynthia, the smart redhead friend of Mike and Tony, originated by Marissa Ribisi, she made the role all her own. She played it as if Cynthia was really smart, but sounded incredibly over the top nerdy. Like stereotypical, braces and glasses, nerdy. It gave the character unique dimensions, combining smart and funny.

Film Independent At LACMA Presents Live Read Of "Dazed And Confused"

Jonathan Tucker is an actor who has been around forever, but who we sometimes forget about. I won’t make that mistake again after this performance.. The star of Sleepers and The Black Donnellys put his heart and soul into his roles. His lead role as senior Benny (originated by Cole Hauser) was intense and edgy. His side roles were more of the same, with the actor’s face regularly going beet red with pent-up emotion. More than anyone else on the stage, Tucker threw himself into his roles and made a mark. He also got many of the biggest laughs.

Don, the overall-wearing womanizer originated by Sasha Jenson, is one of the most memorable roles in Dazed and Confused and Eric Andre was a great choice to play him. The character is kind of a creepy and Andre put that into it, infusing him with some very off-putting comedic energy and a kind of over the top verbosity.

Film Independent At LACMA Presents Live Read Of "Dazed And Confused"

I purposely waited until last to mention Nick Kroll. Kroll was undoubtedly the MVP of the evening. Not only did he crush his main role as O’Bannion, originated by Ben Affleck, he also had to do two of the other most memorable roles in the movie – the stoner Slater, originated by Rory Cochrane, and nerdy Tony, originated by Anthony Rapp.

Honestly, you can’t come up with three more different characters in Dazed and Confused. They’re the jock, the stoner and the brain. And of course the man with his own sketch show simply annihilated each one. For O’Bannion, Kroll went big, with a take slightly similar to Affleck’s, but even more mean. For Slater, he just went with a straight impression, which is the only way you can go with that role. Then for Tony, he somehow put those two characters behind him to stand tall with Watkins and Mantzoukas. He also bounced between the three for scene after scene, sometimes swapping personalities right on a dime. He was perfection.

Next, we’ll talk about the changes from this version of the script to the final film.

Continue Reading Dazed and Confused Live Read Recap

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