May 4th, 2012

Arms

New York, New York

My travels took me to New York again, and I spent time doing the three things that must be done in New York.

1)  Trim shopping

2)  Metropolitan Museum of Art:  in this case the special exhibit on Byzantium and Islam, covering the transitions of the provinces of  North Africa and the Levant from the Byzantine to Umayid and Abassid cultural spheres.  Good stuff, but ultra geeky.  I have the catalogue.

3)  Plays:  Since I was travelling without snailstichr, I was looking for things that we wouldn't or couldn't see together.  I ended up with two short runs, both excellent productions that turned out to be quite star-studded.

    a)  Blair Underwood as Stanley in a primarily African-American and Latina production of A Streetcar Named Desire.  I had heard an NPR story about it a few weeks ago and was interested in catching it.  I had never seen the play (or movie) before, but knew the general story.  Clearly adjustments were made, and without knowing the text intimately, I cannot comment too intelligently on it, but I wondered about the logistics of an African American family owning Belle Reve for generations.

   b) James Earl Jones, Angela Lansberry, John Laroquette, Candace Bergen, Eric McCormack, and Michael McKean in Gore Vidal's The Best Man.  Written and set in 1960 during a Presidential Nominating Convention, it is a political morality play that is a nice balance of dated and contemporary.  Where the things had changed, they had changed drastically (Ms. Lansberry's role as head of the women's divison is laughably quaint, while discussions of tax issues had a "ripped from the headlines" feel.

A great show, and now I have many more celebrities to cross off my list.

I may have to put together a list of who all I have seen on stage.  It is fairly impressive.

Now up the river (just a few towns past Ossining) to pick up trim, then down to Atlantia.