At first, when the sound equipment failed and random musicians began taking the stage for impromptu sets between the 24-Hour Plays being performed at the Atlantic Theater, it was grim. Between the first two plays, a person who may or may not have been a stagehand came out and performed an Ani DiFranco song. (We knew it was that, because we went to college.) Later, she sang an Irish ditty, it being Saint Patrick’s Day. We looked around. What torture would come next? Then something inexplicable and magical happened.
Out of nowhere, actor Ethan Hawke hopped up onstage, strapped on an acoustic guitar and bared his soul to the audience. “Someone I know wrote this song while shooting a movie in Paris during his divorce,” he said. We, along with the rest of the audience, gasped. He was totally talking about himself, and more important, Uma Thurman!
Wait, but didn’t they get divorced seventeen years ago? Who cares, we said to ourselves, because by the way, Ethan looks good. He proceeded to sing a ditty that included lyrics about “not caring if [he] ever saw New York again,” “the lawyers,” and — most telling — “my wife.” Uma! “My wife hates me,” he sang, adding something about how she would call him a prick, how he longed to send for his children, tralalala singing stuff. We were intoxicated, both with beverages and with memories of Dead Poets Society. And then! “My wife is a big fat beast,” he sang. We gasped, along with the rest of the audience. He called Uma fat! In public! Sheepishly, Hawke broke his musicianly stride: “Yeah, I was very upset at the time.” And still is, we suspect. —Savannah Ashour
Earlier: Ethan Hawke Pulls a Jude Law