Tom Sturridge and Jake Gyllenhaal are certainly the reason why “Sea Wall/A Life” has now moved uptown to the Hudson…
In the lobby of the Hudson, for $20 you can buy a quartet of magnets with lines from the show. The lines go beyond unmemorable – “But who wants to think of the future when the present is this monumental” — which is ironic, given the marketing: The two characters, says the show’s website, “take us on a journey you will never forget.”
That’s not the only irony. There may not in fact be any self-evidently memorable lines nor an undeniably unforgettable journey. But there don’t have to be. The strength of these monologues lies precisely in their modesty – in the modesty of the production, which is presented on a virtually bare stage (except for the very end); and in the performances, which are quiet, casual and nuanced; and in the characters, who each are humbled by their personal confrontations with both life and death.
And that’s what ties the two monologues together – the characters grappling with the minutia of both birth and death, but also the (yes) monumental implications of both.