In Lifespan of a Fact Daniel Radcliffe and Bobby Cannavale portray Jim Fingal and John D’Agata, fact checker and writer. The play is based on the true story about their relationship with the truth when Mr. Fingal (Radcliffe) was hired to fact check Mr. D’Agata’s (Cannavale) story about a 2002 teenage suicide at a Las Vegas hotel.
Editor-in-chief Emily (Cherry Jones), feels that print journalism is dying and that D’Agata’s article – actually essay – may prove be her defining moment, if not the magazine’s. She hires Fingal to fact check the piece, but it becomes obvious that in D’Agata’s mind facts get in the way of telling the story, while Fingal believes facts are non-negotiable. A David vs Goliath battle ensues. The physical difference between Mr. Cannavale and Mr. Radcliffe serves to intensify the assault. Cannavale skulks around the stage landing verbal blows which are quickly fended off by Radcliffe as each tries to make his case about the necessity and importance of facts. The verbal sparring is magnificent to witness with Jones acting as referee. This may sound like an intense drama, but it’s far from it.
Who knew that when Radcliffe retired his wand, he’d become a terrific comedic actor? And who knew that when D’Agata and Fingal co-wrote their book ‘Lifespan of a Fact’ in 2012 that it would be so timely in 2018 where alternative facts are used daily to create new truths? It’s rare that I see a play that I so thoroughly enjoy.— it’s very funny and entertaining Leigh Silverman directs this triumvirate to perfection. . Although some creative license is taken with the real story, it does not take away from its essence – discerning what is fact and what is fiction. LAR
Studio 54, 254 W. 54th St
Ticket price: $129-$169
Discounts: Available on TKTS
Running time: 85 minutes
Runs thru: January 13, 2019