New York, Upstate and Down

Shirley here, with a quick NY redux.

Everything Ari said about the Lake Lucille outing? True. True and then some more true. I dare say we drank the Lake Lucille kool-aid and now, you will probably never get us to shut up about it. My only disappointment is that I can’t find a way to get all of you to see this production. Yes, each and every one of you. Perhaps the fact that it was temporal and fleeting adds to its magic, but indeed–anyone who has ever said, “Oh Chekhov? Chekhov bores me.” or “All they do is sit around and talk”, or “What does he mean it’s a comedy? Chekhov isn’t funny” would eat their words and finish it off with a shot of vodka after seeing this production.

Here’s a picture of Lake Lucille:

Here’s one moment I will talk about.

So, Platonov, broken and weary and done with it all walks into the lake in the last act to drown himself. I believe in the original play the water turns out to be too shallow for the deed. But not here, a real live lake. So we were on one side of this lake, a lake aglow with paper lanterns and torches, and on the other side Platonov goes under. And his wife, Sashenka, pauses and then follows. And then they swim across the lake. Because they have to. Because life is hard and sometimes you want to end it, but love is harder and it means you hold on to the person you love as tight as you can. When the person you love–an impossible, flawed, painful love–walks into a lake you follow that person and stop them from doing it. It all made perfect sense. The feelings were big, and unruly and authentic. The love was palpable. The loss was heart-breaking.

Oh! And it was funny too! Bill Irwin? Genius. And the music and songs and dances and staging and acting and lighting and costumes and set, all of it, all of it, stupendous.

You’re all thinking like, “Come on, it couldn’t have been THAT special.” But it was.

Enough Shirley, stop it.

The other New York ventures were similarly successful, in different and exciting ways. We had a great time catching up with the latest version of David Zellnik’s Ariel Sharon Hovers Between Life and Death and Dreams of Theodor Herzl, and meeting with playwright Leila Buck about the latest version of her play In the Crossing.

And for me, it was particularly great to catch up with Sam Forman about the spring production of his play The Rise and Fall of Annie Hall and with Josh Lefkowitz, former DC actor and monologist-extraordinaire who will be appearing in RHAH. Plus I got to spend some time with our dear Hannah Hessel before she gets pulled into the trenches of Grad School.

All in all, a mind-swimming couple of days, but fabulous and fruitful all of it.