Alpaca (and Career) Saving with Matthew Modine

Alpacas? Sweet. Sweet faces, soft hair. We just want to say that up front. We're sweet on those fuzzy camelids. And when we say we've been laughing about the name of the new play that opened on September 8th at the Geffen Playhouse -- "Matthew Modine Saves the Alpacas" -- we of course are not laughing at alpacas.

Well, sometimes, when they're chewing. Because they're so cute and comical.

Nor are we laughing at Mr. Modine. "Vision Quest"? You adore that movie, too. But the whole idea behind the new play from Blair Singer is inspiring the guffaws. The plot: A once-famous actor who has seen his star set takes up a cause to return him to the headlines. That cause: the alpaca. The star: Matthew Modine. His character: Matthew Modine.

Is there a bit of winking going on here? Why yes, in fact. There is.

There are few subjects riper for satire than celebrities and their various causes. In some cases, the cause is brought to the forefront of our minds by being attached to a big name, which is a good thing. But we've all wondered, on occasion, okay, frequently, about the famous person who uses his soapbox to further his fortunes.

And, before we go. Stars starring in things as sly versions of themselves: love. "Being John Malkovich" with John Malkovich and "Cold Souls" with Paul Giamatti as Paul Giamatti are two examples. We want more, playwrights/screenwriters of the world. More!

 "Matthew Modine Saves the Alpacas" is at the Geffen Playhouse from September 8th-October 18th.

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