Rupert Holmes and Susannah McCorkle understood the sadness in the limits life places on our love lives. We can try, for a little while – I did – to break the short tether of human finitude that so restricts our access to romance, but we can never pull hard enough to snap it. We can, at best, meet an infinitesimal fraction of the people with whom we could have mated. Good things may come from crying uncle in this struggle, but let us not disguise the defeat as a victory.
Posts Tagged ‘Baltimore’
The visual is Vladimir busking with his saxophone in a park. The song he plays is the first song we got to know him with at the outset when he was a musician in a Russian circus band. In that milieu the melody (no doubt by design) sounded cheerful but superficial. Now, played solo with lots of jazz riffs, it sounds distinctly mournful and much more profound. Michael Rod leaves pauses between the phrases, which begin to be filled in by singer Chaka Khan, singing a song called Freedom.
It is gratifying that Christopher Durang’s latest comedy, Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike, which is assuredly going to be produced in time by every community theater company in the country, gets its Baltimore premiere in style at Center Stage, as a sort of reference production by which other local ones can be gauged. The show, which rolled out over the last two years in regional test runs, then at the Lincoln Center, and then on Broadway, where it closed last year, is in joint production here with the Kansas City Repertory Theatre. The fun seems effortless; with a solid cast and wonderful direction by Eric Rosen at Center Stage, of course nothing is going to go wrong. But I’m willing to bet it would take a lot of trying to do this well-made play badly; I expect we’ll find out.
The cathartic quality of Purple Rain spoke directly to me. I could dare to recognize now that I had been engineering my own catharsis. And so for that night Purple Rain was my anthem.
We can all agree that the conclusions of Beneatha’s Place, both dramatic and thematic, make the play as a whole a satisfying contrast with Clybourne Park, if not yet its equal. The jury is still out on this coupling, however. I predict much greater success for it if Kwei-Armah, a man who seems incredibly busy on two continents, can find the time to work the kinks out his half of the pair. Paradoxically, the less slavish his adherence to Norris’s template, the greater the likelihood his play will be invited along on Clybourne Park’s victory lap.
Thurgood Marshall’s 1930s world formed by the separate but equal doctrine, and Perry Mason’s fictional 1930s world in which lawyer ethics were still optional, seem very strange. What will our world seem like in 80 years?
And there in the sunroom I stood, one afternoon shortly after my father had died and we had moved into a new house and my life was all jumbled up beyond recall, with the light of the dying day filtering in through the tree outside, tears welling up as I honked through a requiem for my father with the instrument I knew best how to play.
By the afternoon I was holding my son in my arms. I left his mother to sleep for a while, drove home and – went for a run. I’m the father of three, and I know there’s no accounting for anything in the feelings of parents. But whatever the reasons, this was the most euphoric I ever was over the arrival of a child. I felt – I don’t know – limitless, transcendent, as if I were floating rather than running.
This is not great drama or great comedy, but it is an enjoyable evening of theater. Of course, in the end none of it matters if Powers does not deliver, but no one can deny that she knocks it out of the park. It may be a tinier park than some, but knock it she does.
I knew now that I had a susceptibility. I might never act on it, but I had it. What I did not have, it soon emerged, was a job.