Monday, October 3, 2011

Wondrous Workplace Dramas

Aaron "The West Wing" Sorkin, the perpetual poet laureate of the workplace drama, saves the day with his screenplay for "Moneyball" (co-scripted with Steven Zaillian). This baseball fan naturally laughed and cheered at the field scenes -- but also at the conference room confabs with the sour old Oakland A's scouts and at the inside looks at the locker room (hey, they're workplaces too).

Back in the early 1990s I was busy rooting for Robbie Alomar in Toronto, and thus knew little about Billy Beane and the Oakland A's. It's been fun to catch up on which parts of "Moneyball" are fictionalized, and which parts draw directly from Michael Lewis's book.

On Broadway, "Man and Boy" is the workplace drama of choice. The Terence Rattigan plot about a corrupt financier is surprisingly modern, though the father-son relationship is a bit creaky. Maybe I'm just seeing it through 21st-century US eyes. I never miss a chance to marvel at Frank Langella artfully chewing the scenery. He is the American Laurence Olivier.