Friday, June 22, 2012

June Trip: Night

In New York, I saw three excellent shows on three consecutive nights.

Freud's Last Session
"You were led to God by a biscuit tin."

Freud's Last Session at the New World Stages was written by Mark St. Germain and starred the excellent Martin Rayner as Freud and Mark H. Dold as C.S. Lewis in an imagined conversation between those two men, two weeks before Freud died, just at the start of WWII.

I'm a confirmed Freudian and no longer a fan of C.S. Lewis, since reading some of his Christian literature, in which he describes humans as "small and dirty." But I loved his Narnia novels as a child, and an affection for that complicated man remains. So to consider that these two men, on such opposing sides in matters of God, might have met, and the prickliness and compassion they might have shared on the eve of that dreadful war, was irresistible. It was an excellent show, marred only slightly by two giant blond German gentlemen who talked non stop through the entire play. Granted, they were talking about the play, explaining it to each other, but still.... but still I didn't shush them. It was my first night in New York. I was in ecstacy. I wasn't in the mood to argue. After I bought two copies of this excellent play, which were already signed by the author. The two actors graciously signed them then for me, and one copy has been delivered into the hands of my favourite Freudian of all, Dr. G!

Anything Goes

"You're the purple light
Of a summer night in Spain,
You're the National Gallery
You're Garbo's salary,
You're cellophane!"

On the second night I saw Cole Porter's Anything Goes, which satisfied beyond pleasure my need for a big, tap-dancing, all-singing fest of Big Apple gorgeousness. It's been my favourite musical for years, but this was the first opportunity I had to see it live. Stephanie J. Block as Reno is my new girl crush; I do wish she was the voice on the cast recording, which I purchased. She's warm and sexy and just lights up the stage. Everyone was excellent, including Joel Grey as Moonface Martin.

Coming out of the Stephen Sondheim Theatre on 43rd, I made my way to Broadway, to revel in the day-bright colour and lights.

But then I looked behind me and was captivated by the glorious Chrysler Building. I walked for a long time towards it.

This is what I love about New York. I can buy perfectly delicious apricots in the wee hours, and end the evening on a sweet and juicy note.

Venus in Fur

“Be then my slave, and know what it means to be delivered into the hands of a woman.”

I ended my theatre going on a particularly juicy note on the third night, when I saw the delicious and provocative two-hander, Venus in Fur by David Ives, starring Nina Arianda (she just won the Tony for this) and Hugh Dancy. Inspired by Leopold von Sacher-Masoch's 1870 novel (which also inspired the term "masochism"), it portrayed a frustrated director/playwright, who auditions an actress/force-of-nature for his play inspired by von Sacher-Masoch's work. The begin to inhabit the characters, the actress (or is she his Muse?) becoming all manner of things to him, as the sexual power-play begins. It was excellent.

No comments: