We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
The New Victory Theater, on 42nd St. in the heart of the theater district. We saw the new Cymbeline there on Sunday afternoon. The Fiasco Theater Company. Six recent Brown MFA grads played all the roles, and the entire stage set was as seen: three wooden boxes. They spoke the Bard's lines in pure American accent and tone, and every word was comprehensible. Each actor played a musical instrument too. Delightful comedy - and the audience got all the jokes. This play is a farce, a sit-com about love, evil, treachery and vengeance, with a happy ending. Entirely lacking in Shakespearian grandiloquence.
We got there a bit early, and I chatted with the lighting board gal about the theater. It's the oldest operating theater in NYC, built in 1900 by Oscar Hammerstein's grandfather for vaudeville. Holds around 500. It's a jewel-box theater.
Its history reflects the history of 42nd St in the 20th Century. Vaudeville, then Burlesque (Gypsy Rose Lee stripped there) under the Minskys, then legit theater (Belasco himself had the electric lights put in), then a porn movie house in the 70s, then shuttered for 20 years, then reopened in the 90s as what it is now: a venue for family-friendly productions.
Thank you, Rudy Giuliani, for civilizing 42nd St.
The Fiasco's Cymbeline is only there for two weeks and is, I think, thanks to a pile of good reviews, sold out. They let me take pics before they began, as people were arriving. The actors hung around on stage talking to people and stretching:
A couple more pics of this jewel of a theater below.
Check out the acoustic dome, decorated with putti: