(ABOVE: photo by Joe Epstein/JoeEpsteinPhotography.com)
The production features film, TV, and stage veteran Richard Masur as Bernard (a.k.a. ‘Nard), a somewhat cantankerous curmudgeon with an affinity for brown liquor and blue language. Masur’s superbly sour portrayal is countered by the dazzlingly sweet performance of rising Hoboken star Matilda Lawler as Rory. Volleys fired back-and-forth from the rooftops of their neighboring homes culminate in a shockingly funny, dark comedy where two oddballs find a way to bridge the considerable space between them and develop a true friendship.
Reviews have been rave—across the board. Yet while THE NET WILL APPEAR stars a 9-year-old, the language and situations are certainly PG-13 at best. Hearing some of the saltier lines come out of an otherwise angelic actress can be a bit flabbergasting—which only accentuates their delivery.
We were lucky enough to catch up with Matilda Lawler for a quick Q&A about acting, her role as Rory, and about using words that can make even the crustiest of old men blush…
hMAG: How long have you been acting, and what got you into it?
Matilda Lawler: The first time I acted was in “Jack and Annie” at Hoboken Children’s Theater. I was in First Grade. When I watched other actors, I thought “that looks like fun”. So, I wanted to try it.
h: How would you describe Rory?
ML: High energy and funny.
h: Is there a ‘Nard character in your life—someone you really connect with?
ML: My Dad.
h: You have a pretty busy schedule. What’s the toughest part of juggling rehearsals, performances and school?
ML: Making sure I get some rest.
h: Rory’s language is… um… colorful. What’s it like delivering some of those lines?
ML: I love it. I feel like I’m letting all my worries out.
h: Your costar, director and writer have amazing backgrounds. What have they taught you in this production?
ML: Oh man. Almost everything I know about acting—except for all the things my Dad (actor Matthew Lawler) and my Mom (actress Mara DeMey Lawler) taught me.
h: Do you think you would you be friends with Rory?
ML: Oh yeah. We have a lot in common. And she’s really friendly.
Go see Matilda Lawler and Richard Masur at Hoboken’s Mile Square Theatre. Show runs through October 8th. CLICK HERE for ticket information.