Your source for reviews of film, concerts, and theatre from an unusual perspective -- the wheelchair seats.
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Monday, September 24, 2018
"Ordinary Days" @ Broadway Rose
"Ordinary Days" is best when it is true to its title, finding sorrow or humor in the ordinary. (The Starbucks scene comes to mind.) It is admirable when it somehow succeeds in shrinking life in New York. Sadly, I haven't been to The Met in my two trips to The City, but I'd venture a guess that The Whitney Museum at least gives taste of the disorientation made light of in that scene. Be aware that "Ordinary Days", perhaps intentionally given its focus on little things, is a much smaller-scale show than is typical of Broadway Rose. This is not necessarily a negative thing, but it behoove you to calibrate your expectations.
The Color Purple: The Musical @ PCS
There are words that I save for occasions that truly warrant their use, "transcendent' is one of them. I only use it when a certain kind of euphoria envelops me when watching a show. "The Color Purple" had several of those moments. It is the best, most ambitious musical PCS has mounted in years. I opened the playbill after the show and counted the musicians. (You know the show is epic when eight seems a low number.) "Breathtaking" is also among the words to use conservatively, but when one feels short of breath at the end of a number, out of a strange sort of empathy with a performer who appears to have exhausted herself, what other word is there? What an Opener to PCS's Season.
Sunday, September 9, 2018
"Skeleton Crew" @ Artists Rep
There are sequences of movement in "Skeleton Crew" that are used as scene-breaks that are so synchronized, I suspected they were projections, until the dancers took their bows at the curtain-call. It was at this moment I realized that the synchronicity displayed in those scene-breaks was a sort of microcosm of what I enjoyed most about the play. Not to mention that synchronicity itself is a theme of the play. This is of course intentional, at least insofar as the scene-breaks illustrate the precision workers on an assembly-line must possess, and the play is in large part about how little respect such work receives, and even the dialogue has moments of natural-poetry that takes some rhythmic skill to deliver effectively. (A feat accomplished especially well by actress Shelley B. Shelley, as Faye.) Yet, as apt as the "synchronized" description is, it should not conjure the connotation of being as generic as the products of an assembly-line. Indeed, the greatest asset of "Skeleton Crew" is its ability to draw truly human characters. It is a timely, perhaps even vital play, and a truly impressive beginning to Artists Rep's new Season.
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