On Broadway, a revival of Harvey, by
Mary Chase, is a perfectly, painless comedy, about an alcoholic,
mild mannered man (played with affable charm by Jim Parsons),
whose best friend is an imaginary rabbit. His sister would like him to
be institutionalized. The supporting cast is first rate, and the
audience seems to enjoy the shenanigans on stage.
Off-Broadway, We Play for the Gods,
written, directed & produced by 2010-2012 WP Lab, has fourteen people
responsible for this production, that takes place int two offices in a
modern building with two women in each. A ghostly character called
Provocatrix plays havoc with their professional lives. This is an
example of too many cooks spoiling the broth.
Rapture, Blister, Burn. by Gina
Gionfriddo, is a well acted, intelligent play about the problems
facing modern, educated women. A fine cast of four talkative women and
one dull, immature man, headed by Amy Brenneman, discuss whether
a career as a single woman or a married life with children will satisfy.
The opening night party at Heartland Brewery attracted guests like
Anita Gillette, Tony Shalhoub, Brooke Adams.
Church, by John Patrick Shanley, has a fine cast in an
unrealistic play, about a Borough President of the Bronx, helping his
friend with a mortgage on her home. There is lots of discussion of
politics, religion and banking in this disappointing play.
Zarkana has returned to Radio City Music Hall. It is a
surreal acrobatic spectacle, with talented performers, who will
entertain a family audience. It runs to September 2.
The 2012 Irish Repertory Gala presented a
delightful concert version of Oliver at the Shubert Theatre, with
a superb cast headed by Brian Stokes Mitchell, Melissa Errico and
James Barbour, and an adorable Zachary Maitlin in the
title role. The celebration continued with a delicious dinner at Sardi's,
with guests like Tony Walton, Fritz Weaver, John McMartin and
Thomas Meehan. Congratulations to Charlotte Moore and
Ciaran O'Reilly on their 24th year of splendid theatre productions.
The Tony Awards took place at the Beacon Theatre,
and we photographed the nominees and winners on the red carpet and in
the media room at the Jewish Community Center. There were few surprised.
Clybourne Park won best play, Once Best Musical, The
Gershwin's Porgy and Bess and Death of a Salesman Best
Revivals. Audra McDonald, Steve Kazee, Nina Arianda and James
Corden were well deserved winners, and Bernadette Peters, Hugh
Jackman and Manny Azenberg received special awards. Among the
presenters were Amanda Seyfried, Jessica Chastain and Sheryl
We celebrated at the after-party for Clybourne
Park at Whiskey Park. It was the end of a perfect night.
The Hall of Fame 2012 Fellowship Luncheon at the New York Friars Club
was a Salute to Joel Grey. Among the speakers and entertainers
were Pia Lindstrom, Julie Halston, Bebe Neuwirth, Stephen
Peters and from Anything Goes, Robert Creighton, Mark Ledbetter and James Lowe. The fellowship recipients were Eric Lockley and Amy Clark, and Woodie King, Jr. and William Ivey Long presented the awards. Among the guests were Estelle Parsons, Charlotte Moore and Lois Smith. Terry Hodge Taylor presented this delightful event.
I attended a photo op. for the New York Stage and Film 2012 Season at a breakfast at Joe Allen Restaurant. Among the cast members were Jennifer Westfelt, Chloe Sevigny, Paxton Whitehead and playwright Stephen Belber and director David Esbjornson.
A lovely party for The Heart of the Matter by Neil LaBute was held at Ramscale, and the cast members Tammy Blanchard, Emmanuelle Chriqui, Krysten Ritter, Michael Chernus and Eddie Kaye Thomas were there, as well as guests like Brian Geraghty, Molly Ransom and Melissa Leo.
Actors' Equity presented the Clarence Derwent Awards to Susan Pourfar and Finn Wintrock and the Richard Seff Awards to Laila Robins and Patrick Page at a pleasant ceremony in their offices.
American Ballet Theatre (ABT) presented Romeo and Juliet, choreography by Sir Kenneth MacMillan, music by Sergei Prokofiev, with sumptuous costumes and scenery by Nicholas Georgiadis. Marcelo Gomes was an ardent Romeo and Diane Vishneva was an exquisite Juliet. Aaron Scott was a brilliant Mercutio, and it was a pleasure to watch his magnificent turns and joyous performance. Another splendid night at the ballet.
Film Society of Lincoln Center will present the 11th New York Asian Film Festival June 29-July 15. I attended a press screening of Dragon, by Peter Chan, Hong Kong/China, 2011, a martial arts film about a ferocious former kung fu fighter hiding in a small Chinese village in 1917. When he kills a dangerous criminal, his identity is discovered by an investigator. Martial arts fans who enjoy the continuous violent scenes, ears and arms chopped off, will flock to this beautifully photographed film. Doomsday Book, by Kim Ji-Woon and Yim Pil-Sung, South Korea, 2012, is a three part science fiction film, about a virus affecting the population, and then a second part about robots and Buddhism, and finally a possible meteor destroying the world. It is well made and science fiction fans will enjoy it. The third part had, believe it or not, some very funny scenes in a TV studio, reporting on the end of the earth.
I managed to see Kryptonite, by Ivan Coroneo, Italy, 2011, the last film presented in Open Roads: New Italian Cinema. It is a charming, tender hearted film about a nine year boy in Naples, bullied at school, but supported by his wacky family. His cousin, who always dressed up as Superman, returns after death as the boy's imaginary friend and teaches him to grow up and find faith in himself. It is a sweet, pleasant fantasy, presented with good humor.
Tabu, by Miguel Gomes, Portugal, 2012, is a story of an old woman living a solitary end of a her life in Portugal, whose neighbor is requested to find a man, with whom she had an adulterous affair in Africa fifty years previously. The second part of this unusual film, photographed in black and white, takes place in Africa, where we see the heroine as a beautiful, exciting young married woman, and we follow her affair (in a voiceover by her lover). It is a remarkable story, exquisitely presented, and leaves an indelible impression on the viewer. It opens on December 26 at Film Forum.