There are already a lot of good reasons to go see “Nice Fish,” a play about existential reflections and ice fishing in Minnesota, which runs through March 27 at St. Ann’s Warehouse in Dumbo. It delivers a lot of laconic, Midwestern comedy, via the poetry of Duluth-based poet Louis Jenkins and it’s paired with an equally illuminating number of deep thoughts: when you’re out on the ice, surrounded by nothing, the mind inevitably begins to wonder what it is all about.
But now there’s another exciting reason to go and see it: Mark Rylance, last night’s Oscar winner for Best Supporting Actor, is the play’s creator, and he brilliantly brings to life a pensive, goofy, amateur fisherman with an absolutely top-notch Minnesotan accent (Rylance is British, though he spent some of his youth in Milwaukee, Wisconsin).
Last night at the Oscar’s, Rylance beat out the presumed favorite Sylvestor Stallone, as well as Mark Ruffalo, Tom Hardy, and Christian Bale for the honor. His acceptance speech, for his role in Bridge of Spies, in which he simply thanks lead Tom Hanks and director Stephen Spielberg, is very straightforward compared to Rylance’s Tony Award’s acceptance speech in 2008; out of the blue, Rylance recited a Louis Jenkins poem (whose poetry is all over “Nice Fish”) about the importance of wearing “some kind of uniform” when you go into town, “Otherwise it might appear that you don’t know what you’re doing, that you’re just wandering the earth with no particular reason for being here, and no particular place to go.” (The audience had no idea what he was talking about it, and absolutely ate it up.)
But now you definitely have a place to go: all you need to do is dress up and head to Dumbo to see a newly-minted Oscar award winner deliver a comedic, poetic gift. And an amazing Minnesotan accent.