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Significant Other

Unknown-3Significant Other
by Joshua Harmon
directed by Trip Cullman
Roundabout Theatre
July 17, 2015
Production website.

💉 out of 5.
I am really not so sure what makes this significant.  Significant Others is a play that sets out to explore how hard it is for a twenty-something gay man to find the “one.”  For all of his consternating with his grandmother, employing of all social media options and championing of his best girl buddies he simply can’t “get any.”  I guess we are supposed to care.
The play does have its funny moments as wedding parties always create a drunken free-for-all.  And protagonist Jordan Berkan certainly does fly across the stage in a caffeinated craze – – but I simply didn’t care for him.  He seemed so whiny and shallow as he pursued the elusive Abacrombie-like model that did little but stand on a raised platform for admiration.

He did talk to his grandmother, played by the talented Barbara Barrie.  She either ask him “how’s your love life? (which she does more then a dozen times) or she is oddly and comfortably planning her suicide.  What??
The set was massive – – a series of rooms and levels but none of them got used.  Most was played on the apron in front.  Why build such a big set and never inhabit it.
Significant Other would undoubtable make good TV.  But to get all dressed up, catch 3 trains, pay over $75 and not to have your dog on your lap – – it simply wasn’t worth the trip.  It might have even different for the twenty-sowing in the audience but for this fifty-something no.

Skylight

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Skylight
written by David Hare and Mathew Beard
starring Carey Mulligan and Bill Nighy
Golden Theatre – June 14, 2015

Production website

💉💉💉💉 out of 5.
This is going to sound a bit crude but watching this show seemed to me a very literate and brilliantly played out feasting on the Animal Channel.  Crude I know – – but the constant clashing of horns for both the materialist, Bill Nighy, and the newly drafted idealist, Carey Mulligan was a scary thing.
Early in the evening Kyra (Carey Mulligan) puts a pot of Bolognese on the stove (literally food on the stove) and literally heats it for all of the audience to watch and smell.  This meal cooks and cooks and when finally served we can only guess how hot it gets and how severely it burns the tongue.

At its simplest, Skylight is the story of an old rich married man with a sickly wife who befriends and later woos a much younger woman.  The secret plays out for a long time until the death of the wife and conscious of the younger woman kicks in.  Now, separated, they join on this rainy night to rekindle (?) what could have been, or might be, or hasn’t a chance of being.
It was very scary to watch the match up here.  The language was so brilliantly sharp and you couldn’t find two better actors/swords to wield against each other.
On a funny note, one of my teenage students with me found it totally unbelievable that a man as OLD as he was could ever have a relationship with someone as YOUNG as she was.  “What could possibly drive them together?”
Patience young teenager – life will reveal stranger things then this.

Disenchanted

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book, music and lyrics by Dennis T. Giacino
directed by Fiely A. Matias
produced by Westside Theatre
June 14, 2015

💉💉💉 out of 5.

Six women play dozen’s of Disney Princesses in this adult comedy and send-up of all that is Disney and much of what is female in countless bedtime stories.

The result is super sweet, a bit naughty and truly captivating. My imagination was kept for the entire short 90 minutes of the play – grateful of course that they didn’t overwork the bit for another hour.

As the musical asks, I found myself wondering why almost every happily-ever-after – – involves finding that certain someone, Can’t a hard won happily-ever-after be just as sweet and rewarding on your own. I am NOT a Disney person and certainly not a Princess fan – but now I understand their appeal and danger to a young audience.

The Way We Get By

 

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The Way We Get By

by Neil LaBute

Produced by Second Stage Theatre

June 13, 2015     The Way We Get By

 

Not to sound too jaded, I have grown a bit tired of Neil Labute. His plays seem to relentlessly focus on broken people making poor choices and stepping on a lot of feelings in the process. But this play was different for me. This play was sexy. You have that delicious human drama of waking up the morning after the night you can’t really remember doing the thing that you are oh, so unsure of. Who hasn’t been there? Continue reading The Way We Get By

Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time

Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Simon Stephens, based on the novel by Mark Haddon.

tixEthel Barrymore Theatre – June 13, 2016

Curiousonbroadway

💉💉💉💉 out of 5.

I have seen this play and loved it both times.  This is a perfect example of using expressionism to really get inside the life of an autistic boy and yet still be meaningful to the audience.  What struck me both times about seeing this play is PLAY:  the wonderful, joyous practice of play that we adults abandon way to early for our own good.  When is the last time that someone grabbed you by the waist and helped you play rocket ship around the living room?  When is the last time someone held you above your head threatening to send you plunging into the bed below?  Autistic or not – – why in the hell did we ever give up our sense of play? Continue reading Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time