Off-Broadway, Wild With Happy, by Colman Domingo, at the
Public Theater. When his mother dies, Gil (Colman Domingo) has to bury
her. His decision to take care of the arrangements is the subject of the
play, which includes a wild ride to Disney World. The four member cast
is energetic, and the production designed by Clint Ramos is quite
inventive. The opening night celebration took place in the lobby of the
newly renovated theater with guests like Liev Schreiber, Tonya
Pinkins and Jay O. Sanders.
House for Sale, by Jonathan Franzen, is an 80 minute
performance piece, in which five performers recite lines from the
author's essay about selling his mother's home and evoking memories of
his childhood. In spite of the cast's efforts, the production is
tedious. The opening night party in the theatre attracted Mark
Rylance and Nick Westrate.
A Summer Day, by Jon Fosse, is a sombre 80 minute play,
which welcomes back Karen Allen to the stage, as an older women
reliving the day, in which her husband disappeared at sea years before.
As played by her as a younger woman (Samantha Soule), we witness
the day her husband leaves in a small boat, as she await his return with
a couple of friends. It is a sad tale. The opening night party took
place at Oliver's City Tavern.
10-26-12 Cast members (L-R) McCaleb Burnett. Samantha
Soule. Maren Bush. Pamela Shaw at the opening night for
"A Summer Day" in the lobby of the Cherry Lane Theatre.
38 Commerce St. Thursday night 10-25-12
Ballet in Cinema from Emerging Pictures presented L'altra meta del cielo (The Other Side of the Sky), choreography by Martha Clarke, music of Vasco Rossi, performed live on April 5 by La Scala Ballet at Teatro La Scala. Apparently, Rossi sang of his hatred of women, but Clarke cleverly converted the songs into a celebration of feminine identity, following three women through adolescence, growth and maturity. The three ballerinas were Sabrina Brazzo (a senior member of the company and a remarkable actress as well as a dancer), Beatrice Carbone and Stefania Ballone. All three performed magnificently, supported by three excellent male partners, Andrea Volpintesta. Antonino Sutera and Matteo Gavazzi. The rest of the company moved and danced marvelously, making it an unusual, imaginative dance experience, which surprisingly, included tasteful female nudity.
MoMA is presenting a series of wonderful films under the title of To Save and Project: The 10th MoMA International Festival of Film Preservation October 11-November 12. Il Generale della Rovere (General della Rovere), by Roberto Rossellini, Italy/France, 1959, is one of the Italian director's finest films. Vittorio De Sica gives an outstanding performance as a con artist during the German occupation of Italy during World War II. When he is imprisoned, he is offered the opportunity to impersonate a leading partisan leader. His rise to nobility is seen as he plays the role. It is a powerful film.
American Ballet Theatre (ABT) presented a wonderful program of three ballets. It opened with Drink To Me Only With Thine Eyes
, music by Virgil Thomson
, choreography by Mark Morris
, a delightful, quick paced dance piece, full of exciting movements, lifts and turns, in which Yuriko Kajiya
excelled. The second ballet was a world premiere. Symphony #9
, music by Dmitri Shostakovich
, choreography by Alexei Ratmansky
, is fast moving in the first movement, slow and languid in the second, where Marcelo Gomes
and Polina Semionova
are exquisite as lovers, finishing with a vibrant final movement. It is a fascinating addition to the ABT repertoire. The program concluded with a joyous Rodeo
, music by Aaron Copland
, choreography by Agnes De Mill
e, celebrating the 70th anniversary of this remarkable work. To create a ballet about cowboys in the American Southwest with their rodeo skills and the dance afterwards at the ranch showed the choreographer's brilliant imagination and invention. It is one of the jewels of American dance. Xiomara Reyes
was adorable as the frustrated cowgirl, who finally gets a man, a superb Sascha Radetsky.
Both brought good humor to their roles. It was the end of a perfect program of ballet.
Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812, by David Malloy, takes place in the theatre designed as a Russian restaurant, where complimentary vodka and dumplings are served. A sung through pop opera tells part of the great novel War and Peace, by Tolstoy. In this case it is the seduction of Natasha (Phillipa Soo) by Anatole (Lucas Steele), and saved from shame by Pierre (David Malloy). The singing is superb, the music is melodious and it is one of the more delightful evenings in theatre.
I attended a photo op for My Name Is Asher Lev, by Aaron Posner, with a three member cast. Performances will begin November 8, and opening night is November 28.
I also attended a photo op for Golden Boy, by Clifford Odets, with an all star cast headed by Tony Shalhoub, which opens December 6. I am eagerly awaiting this revival.