July and August is the dead zone for the theater in Manhattan, which is a bit of a drag for me because it’s something I really enjoy. It sustains me through the long commutes and endless hours spent chained to a desk. There are very few theatrical openings. The fall season won’t begin in earnest for another month. Next up: Jeremy Piven in Mamet’s Speed-The-Plough. How do you like them apples?
For a lark, I got a ticket to a production of Around The World in 80 Days at the Irish Rep. Honestly, the story didn’t interest me at all—I’m not a big Jules Verne fan—but the Irish Rep is sure-fire and I had read a few nice notices. What I hoped would be a pleasant diversion and an excuse to avoid the Friday evening city exodus was actually an amazing display of stamina and dedication. There were only six people in the cast and four of them covered over a dozen roles. They worked their asses off. They made it look easy. And fun. You wouldn’t think that they could do justice to such an expansive story on such a small stage and with only a few meager props but they were pretty amazing. The audience was great. They laughed in all the right places and you could see how the actors fed off of that. I love a good sneak attack.
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Two posts ago I spewed my stupidity all over the Olympics. I bad-mouth China. Said I didn’t care. Well, I caught the opening ceremonies and guess what? I softened my heart a bit. I am still no fan of the oppressive government. I cringed while watching the goose-stepping military regiment and Chinese corporations continue to strip Africa of her natural resources. But the opening ceremony was a breathtaking spectacle. Lord, they have a beautiful culture and people, don’t they?