Sunday, January 29, 2017

A Day in New York

I had the privilege and pleasure to spend the day in NYC today.  I got up early, caught the bus and met some wonderful friends for brunch in Brooklyn at The Henry Public. We had superb Bloody Marys (though I believe they were called Bloody Henrys) and lovely, though not particularly adventurous breakfasts.

The reason I took the trip was to see the closing performance of The Front Page, starring Nathan Lane, John Slattery, John Goodman, Jefferson Mays, Holland Taylor, Robert Morse and Sherie Renee Scott (who is looking fantastic after a battle with cancer).  The Front Page is the play upon which the classic film His Girl Friday, with Cary Grant and Rosalind Russell is based.  You can (and should) watch the whole thing on YouTube. It's a wonder of dialogue delivery.

I spent more than I normally would for the ticket and I was really excited to go, and then this past week happened.  While riding the train in from Brooklyn to Midtown, I shared a car with a number of people headed to Battery Park to march in protest of the new immigration policy rolled out by Trump this week.  Part of me wanted to hop off with them, but my Midwestern frugality wouldn't let me waste the money I spent.  Somehow I have a feeling that I'll have plenty to march about in the coming weeks and months.

The play itself hasn't aged well.  It's a cast of white men (even the Rosalind Russell role is a man in the play), with some ladies thrown in as decoration (a girlfriend, a fiancee, a mother-in-law, and a cleaning lady).  Let's just say it doesn't pass the Bechdel Test, nor is there a person of color to be seen.  In all honesty, it seems like a bit of a waste.  All of these actors, at the top of their game given this play.  It's funny, it's fast-paced, but it doesn't have anything new to say.

There were three acts and it took Nathan Lane almost a full two acts to show up on the scene.  But once he did, he plucked the play from the hands of the other actors and proceeded to bring the house down single-handedly.  Everyone else could've packed up and left and I would have stayed to watch him say his lines alone on stage (and with a cast like this, that's saying something).

To sum up, I enjoyed myself, but this one won't have any staying power.  I don't think I'll be talking this one over in the days and weeks to come, which is too bad because this crew of actors is capable of anything and in our country at this moment, I want art to make a statement.