Back to the Garden of Eden

I see faces and traces of home back in New York City.

Back in N.Y.C.
Peter Gabriel

I might do a another post or two about my trip to Cleveland but for now let it be known that I’m back in New York. My siblings and nieces are in Cleveland, my wife and kids in New Jersey, but New York is my home and it feels good walk though Times Square again.

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This giant (26 ft./8m.) bronze sculpture is Unconditional Surrender by Seward Johnson. It’s up through August 16th. How fun is that!

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It’s a replica of the famous photograph taken by Alfred Eisenstaedt of a sailor and nurse kissing to celebrate the end of World War II. It was taken on August 14th, 1945—65 years ago tomorrow.

vj-day

This angle makes it look as though Jay-Z is eavesdropping on a private moment.

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It’s not often I’ll see a play twice. There are too many out there and my funds are too limited to double-up on something I’ve already seen, but I made an exception last night for David Mamet’s Race. It’s due to close next week and I really wanted to see it with its new cast. As much as I enjoyed the first viewing, this second night was even better. The original cast did a great job, but I think the new cast is an improvement.

raceAd with original cast

James Spader was replaced by Eddie Izzard. I’m a huge fan of Izzard and I’ll see anything that guy does. As good as Spader was, Izzard was even better. His delivery had more punch and he seemed more at ease in his role of an attorney caught up in his own prejudices. And he seemed much more comfortable prowling the stage.

David Alan Grier was replaced by Dennis Haysbert (of 24). Again, Haysbert had better command of the role. Kerry Washington was replaced by Afton Williamson, who I saw last year in August Wilson’s Joe Turner’s Come and Gone. Her’s was an angrier, grittier performance. Richard Thomas is a holdover from the original cast. After so many months, he has a sharper focus on his character, a clueless, wealthy, white man who stands accused of raping a black girl. Is he guilty? Can the truth be found with her red sequined dress? You have to draw your own conclusions.

I checked my notes and although I’ve seen several plays since April, this is the first full-blown Broadway production I’ve attended since then. It was nice to be in a big house again. Have I mentioned that it’s good to be back?