Saturday, April 10, 2010

A Month of Plays

One of the great things about living in Manhattan is access to all the city provides - the restaurants, the nightlife, the theater. And theater generally means Broadway.

When we lived in Texas, we would catch a touring show from time to time, but it wasn't a frequent event. In fact, I'm lucky The Boy ever agreed to attend a show with me again after the great Hairspray fiasco of 2005. We had bought tickets to the touring show, along with about a dozen of my female relatives. At the last moment, I had to go out of town for work and couldn't attend. The poor Boy was left to chauffeur a gaggle of high-cheekboned women around downtown Houston. Since then, he's never really loved musicals.

This month we tested his affinity for plays, seeing three Broadway plays and one off-Broadway play during the month.

We began with A Behanding in Spokane, chosen for the good reviews and Christopher Walken in the starring role. We had front-row seats and were mesmerized by his creepy cool performance. However, the play was inexplicably racial. The slurs and bigotry, which didn't seem to be necessary for the story, really turned me off.

I was ready for a little racial provocation the next week at the performance of Race.

The David Mamet play stars James Spader, the prick hottie Steff from Pretty in Pink but now one of the quirky lawyers in Boston Legal, Kerry Washington, David Alan Grier and Richard Thomas, of Walton's fame.

The reviews of the play have been mixed, and so is my own take on it. I found the play itself interesting, as it explores preconceptions and everyone's own built in racial biases. But I thought the performances were flat and leaden across the board. Pity.

On the other other hand, God of Carnage, about parents whose young boys have had a school yard fight and who devolve from idealized adults to immature barbarians over the course of the play, was pretty fun to watch.

The story, dialogue and characters were sharp and hilarious. The Boy
laughed out loud several times, always a good sign.

Finally, we had the good fortune to have a Broadway and TV actor living
in our building. He is currently starring in an off-Broadway play called

"Temperamental" was code for homosexual in the 1950s and the play

explores coming out during that period as two men create the first gay
rights organization pre-Stonewall.

The performances were amazing, probably most enjoyed of all the
plays I saw in the month. Michael Urie, from Ugly Betty, was freaking
adorable and so talented. My neighbor as well blew me away with
the unique physicality he demonstrated via the different the characters
he played.

So there it is, our month of culture. This month, The Boy's in charge,
so we're probably gonna watch consecutive episodes of 'Deadliest
Catch' instead.

Can't wait.

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