Monday, March 19, 2007

In delay there lies no plenty

The capstone of my weekend of (sober) Irish revelry was a trip to Brooklyn to see Twelfth Night, as conceived and performed by the all-male British company Propeller. Full disclosure: we had dinner before and drinks afterward with a member of the company, so I admit I'm not the most objective reviewer ever. But by the same token, if I didn't think the show was great, I probably wouldn't mention it at all. Twelfth Night is my very favorite Shakespeare play, and I am very emotionally attached to the production I saw at Lincoln Center years ago, so I was afraid I might have trouble warming up to a new approach with a "modern physical aesthetic." But Propeller's approach feels very pure, to me; the play is allowed to do its weird magic. I am very much hoping to get back there this week to see Taming of the Shrew, running in rep with Twelfth Night, and so I will put off writing a full review until I can talk about both. In the meantime, take my advice and get thyself to BAM!

After the show last night, we were discussing other coming attractions in New York theatre scene. It's weird and a bit humbling to have that discussion with Brits, because you realize that most of the stuff we're excited about is old news in the West End. What can I recommend to someone visiting from London? Journey's End is great, yeah yeah, tell me something I don't know. I end up getting recommendations instead of giving them: You should really try to see Moon for the Misbegotten; try not to miss Frost/Nixon; get your tickets for Coram Boy. So on my way home I was assembling my personal to-see list.

At the very top is Spring Awakening. I've been resisting spending money on this, because it just doesn't look or sound like something I would enjoy. At all. But I never like to miss anything that's big in the world of new musicals, and lots of people have recommended it to me, so I really am going to see it. Any day now!

Then there's Talk Radio (the websites for these 2 shows are weirdly similar), another show I don't really want to see but feel like I'd be foolish to miss. And I feel almost morally deficient for not having seen any of The Coast of Utopia (or, as I tend to call it, "All that Stoppard at Lincoln Center"). I think I'm too intimidated. I would also like to catch Our Leading Lady, because I was a Lincoln buff in childhood, and I still get excited when I recall my first trip to Ford's Theatre. I am also entertaining the idea of seeing the Keen Company's Tea and Sympathy, reviewed favorably in the NYT this weekend. I wouldn't say I trust the Times's third-string reviewers implicitly, but I was intrigued by what she says about the script's explicitness as compared to the film version, since I saw the movie last year and found it an exercise in frustratingly pointless angst. It would be a treat to see the uncompromised original script.

In the coming attractions category, I'm kind of psyched for Inherit the Wind, because I love me some Christopher Plummer. And Jeff Daniels strikes me as one of those happy few film actors who might be equally effective onstage, so I'm hoping to see him in MTC's Blackbird.

What am I missing? And do you have any comps to give away? A girl could go broke trying to feed this habit...

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