Saturday, September 10, 2016
THREE BULLET REVIEWS FROM LONDON - The Entertainer, Groundhog Day and 946 The Amazing Story of Adolphus Tips
Greetings from a week in London where the no parking signs have a number you can call if you need to clarify what WARNING PARKING SUSPENDED means.
The Entertainer, Garrick Theatre
In the Olympic spirit, I am proud to announce that as the house lights went down for the Entertainer I set a new world record for the fastest a 64 year old Jew ever fell asleep in a play.
Every time I came to nothing new had happened in this equally tired resurrection of a1957 drama, with Kenneth Branagh, which originally starred Sir Laurence Olivier. It’s the story of an aging song and dance man, his failed relationships and self destructive life decisions. Just when you think that life could not possibly be more miserable for these people the police arrive with news that their son was killed in the Suez.
This play may have resonated in the 1950s psyche of the fading British Empire, but every Brit we mentioned it to had the same reaction - horrible play by a horrible man (John Osborne). Unless you have incurable insomnia, put this one on your must not see list.
Groundhog Day, The Old Vic Theatre
The exercise of waking up in a world where
nothing is new was good preparation for Groundhog Day, an upbeat, fun and well done musical adaption of the 1993 Harold Ramis, movie.
Andy Karl, whose Broadway credits include Jersey Boys, does a wonderful job as the sleazy, pretty boy TV weatherman sent to Punxsutawney, Pa. for Groundhog Day where he finds himself trapped in a closed psychic loop that repeats itself each morning. The staging of this sci-fi tale of nightmarish repetition is skillful but more than once I found myself longing for a fast forward button.
946 The Amazing Story of Adolphus Tips,
The Globe Theatre
The Globe Theatre
This is an exciting production of a play by Michael Morpurgo, (War Horse) performed in the open air Globe Theatre. The story is based on a children’s book about Black US GIs in a small Cornwall town that gets taken over in 1944 by US troops as part of a disastrous D day landing rehearsal
Director Emma Rice, has taken a tragic war time drama and infused it with physical comedy, puppetry, acrobatic dancing and great music. At times members of the breathtakingly talented cast climb a ladder to join the band on an overhanging ledge and then return to the stage by sliding down a pole.
There is a stand out performance by Katy Owen in the role of the little girl at the center of the story. Ms. Owen does some wonderfully funny things with her body and her voice.
This is a kid’s story that promotes itself as suitable for ages 7+. The nearby mother, hugging her sobbing little girl at the play’s saddest moment might not agree with that.
A versatile cast of dancers, singers and musicians playing multiple parts, rocked the house which included 100’s of young people, who bought 5 pound tickets to stand for 2 /1/2 hours in the open area of the Globe Theatre. We looked down on them from our benches with rented cushions and seat backs.
It's a safe bet that if the Bard was watching the show from the rafters - he was smiling.
Good news- It's coming to St. Ann's Warehouse for a run in March and April 2017.
Sunday, August 21, 2016
Dear Hillary Its me Bob I’m fine thanks – and you?
Out here in the liberal bubble we have been singing a new campaign song
Somebody Wake Me Shake Me When its over
I wrote you a speech.
Here it is. You're welcome.
My fellow Americans
I am a human being and I have made mistakes. Odds are I will make more in the future.
When I set up my own e-mail server in Chappaqua I thought it was the best way to juggle my private and official e-mail. The server was no secret and it was ok with all the smart security focused people at the highest levels of government that I relied on. Turns out to have been a big dumb mistake. I'm sorry. By the way I'm 68 years old. Do you think I have any idea how a server works?
Until they replace the Presidency with an IPhone App you will have to accept the fact that a human will sit in the oval office. From today going forward when I make a mistake I will tell you about it, learn from it and fix the problem that caused it.
There’s another mistake that needs to be fixed. My campaign and the Democratic Party has not been listening to the people in America’s devastated heartland who are hurting and scared of the future. We need to understand why these folks were so easily bamboozled by that venom spewing, fact free, gold plated con artist who has never lifted a finger anyone but himself.
Bernie Sanders understood this problem and I did not. Remember what I said about learning from mistakes and making corrections based on what we learn? Today I’m announcing that Bernie Sanders will be my Secretary of Health and Human Services.
To my friends on Wall Street and the Republican refugees don’t worry. I’m still your friend Hillary but it's in all of our interests that we do something now about this obvious threat of a post election national earthquake. The time to “wake me and shake me” is before its over.
Friday, July 29, 2016
JUST BETWEEN US - A FEW MORNING AFTER THINGS THAT I WON'T MENTION TO AVOID ANNOYING PEOPLE
I won't say that comparing Hillary’s speech to Barack’s feels like comparing the Brooklyn and Manhattan Bridges.
I will not refer to the look on Bernie's face as he forced himself to applaud while the Fortune 500 corporations in their private sky boxes were cutting checks and feeling very unthreatened.
And finally I will certainly not discuss how it makes me want to puke that Trump has figured out how to sell snake oil to his demographic while the Dems, having crushed Bernie's young army, speak in unspecific platitudes and snicker at how crass and uncouth he is.
Now that I have not said any of that it's time to sign up to work a phone bank and to cut Hillary the $100 check she has been waiting for because it's all hands on deck to stop the orange Godzilla from reaching Washington.