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Jerry Douglas and the Transatlantic Sessions Tour

Town Hall, NYC, May, 4 2017 – Final Concert of the Transatlantic Tour

Since 1995 the Transatlantic Sessions have delighted audiences with collaborations between Scottish, Irish, English, and American roots music devotees.

According to their official Wiki – Transatlantic Sessions is the collective title for a series of musical productions by Glasgow-based Pelicula Films Ltd, funded by- and produced for BBC Scotland,[1] BBC Four[2] and RTÉ of Ireland. Each half-hour episode features a core “house band” led by Shetland fiddler Aly Bain, and special guests, recorded at a unique location, such as a stately manner house.

The 2017 American tour was an almost-three hour extravaganza featuring some of the finest musicians ever produced in the UK or Ireland, along with many special guests from the USA, most of whom have appeared at various Transatlantic Sessions in the UK.

Here are some excerpts from the incredible Transatlantic Sessions show last night, with a list of performers listed beneath.

Jerry Douglas – Steel Guitars, Vocals (USA)

Aly Bain- Fiddle (Scotland)

John McCusker – Fiddle, Whistle (Scotland)

Michael McGoldrick- Pipes, Flute, Whistle (England)

Donald Shaw – Accordion, Piano (Scotland)

Russ Barenberg – Guitar (USA)

John Doyle – Guitar, Guizouki, Vocals (Ireland)

Daniel Kimbro – Bass (USA)

James MacKintosh – Drums (Scotland)

 

SPECIAL GUESTS

Mary Chapin Carpenter (USA)

Rosanne Cash (USA)

Sarah Jarosz (USA)

Declan O’Rourke (Ireland)

Aoife O’Donovan (USA)

John Paul White (USA)

Karen Matheson (Scotland)

Look for Transatlantic Sessions on BBC, PBS, and Youtube

 

Woodstock – Still Wonderful 47 Years On

This week marks the 47th anniversary of the Woodstock Music and Arts Fair.

It actually took place over three days (spilling over into a fourth) on a dairy farm outside of Bethel, New York, because the sleepy town of Woodstock voted to reject the initial plan to have it there.

For the 40th anniversary some films were put together, dedicated to first two days.

Here they are for your enjoyment.

Running just under an hour per film, they are full of footage shot for the Oscar winning documentary entitled Woodstock, but much of it previously unseen. This includes fascinating and entertaining examples of the crowds who attended, as well as the people who put on the festival and the musicians who performed there. Many of these performances were not included in the original theatrical release.

Day One Music Line Up: Richie Havens, Sweetwater, Bert Sommer, Ravi Shankar, Tim Harden, Melanie, Arlo Guthrie, Joan Baez went on at 1 AM to close the first day’s program.

 

Day Two Music Line Up: Quill, Country Joe McDonald, Santana, John Sebastian, Keef Hartley Band, The Incredible String Band, Canned Heat, Mountain, The Grateful Dead, Credence Clearwater Revival, Janice Joplin, Sly and the Family Stone, The Who went on at 5 AM (due to earlier rain delays, ending at sunrise,) The Jefferson Airplane went on at 8 AM, closing out Saturday’s program

 

Day Three Music Line Up: Joe Cocker, Country Joe and the Fish, Ten Years After, The Band, Johnnie Winter, Blood Sweat and Tears, Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young – Monday starting at 6 AM – Paul Butterfield Blues Band, Sha Na Na, Jimi Hendrix

Unfortunately, there isn’t a Part 3 available for these videos. But here are some videos from the musical perofrmances…

Crosby, Stills and Nash (before Neil Young came out)

And an except of Hendrix’s legendary performance, before a small crowd of diehard audience members who remained.

Treasure Trove on Cornelia Street

Since 1977 the Cornelia Street Cafe has enriched the cultural life of New York City.

For almost 40 years, this West Village mecca has provided delicious food and the unique, inspiring performance of music and the spoken word.

And it is currently proving as impressive and delightful an experience as ever, if not more so.

The Bill

Stopping by for an excellent meal, I learned about their summer Solo Fest, starting this week.

Each evening will feature solo performers, beginning with Amy Stiller on Wednesday, July 13, in “Just Think,” a semi-autobiographical journey of the only non-famous member of a very famous family.

 All Solofest offerings are at 6 PM and cost $10, which goes to the artist, plus a $10 food or drink minimum.

That is a spectacularly great price for the chance to see Arturo O’Farrill, the multi-Grammy-winning composer and leader of the Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra, playing alone on the baby grand piano in an intimate setting. As he will on Friday, July 15.

And on Tuesday, July 19, the cafe’s own Robin Hirsch will present “The Whole Word Passes Through” with tales of the many fascinating people, both famous and obscure, who have crossed the threshold of the Cornelia Street Cafe.

This former Oxford, Fulbright, and English-Speaking Union Scholar never disappoints when it comes to his prose or his extemporaneous storytelling.

The festival runs through July 27, with music, comedy, theater, and political satire. See the cafe’s official website for the full line up and the many other performances taking place this summer.

 The Food

There isn’t an item on the menu I cannot recommend. But my favorites include the kale caesar salad, with just the right amount of avocado and grape tomatoes; the smoked salmon plate with toasted bread, chopped red onion, herb cream cheese, and large capers on the stem; and the richly luscious sea scallops, when they have them.

My go-to entree has been the crusted salmon, which is always excellent. But I only recently had the chicken breast for the first time. Was I ever missing out? It is so tender and juicy and flavorful that it may make you rethink ordering more exotic fare when dining out around New York City. It really is that good.

 The Wine

Mr. Hirsch is understandably proud of the wine list, which offers some interesting and quite reasonably priced selections from around the globe, many of which you are unlikely to taste elsewhere.

I am a new and enthusiastic fan of the Skyline Red, from Idaho, of all places. This blend of several grape varieties is velvety to the point of buttery, with plump dark berries, and integrated oak that is spread throughout, rather than just providing the fruit bowl.

There is also the Cafe’s own label, which appears on a refreshing chardonnay of grape skins, with orchard fruits ripening over time, and on a juicy plum of a pinot noir, both with nicely mild oak and extremely moreish.

And just last night I had a very interesting white wine from France – Perle Bleue, made with a grape used for Cognac and Armagnac. I am not by nature a white wine drinker, but this was extraordinary. Not sweet, but not particularly dry, it had a wisp of sea salt on the nose, and arrived on the palate like an ocean wave, with a vibrant splash that quickly subsided into a relaxing, lingering finish. Itself moreish, but in a curiously enigmatic way.

I cannot speak much to the beers. When people ask me if I am a beer snob, my reply of “Beer is an English word for something made in England by Englishman,” usually shuts down the conversation rather quickly.

But the cafe currently has Bell’s Two Hearted Ale on tap. This Michigan brew is one of best beers in America, with a medium body that is dry yet malty and buttressed by a crisp hoppy edge that remains firm but not overbearing. So it is on par with an English IPA and therefore not the face-puckering astringent grapefruit juice typical of American craft brewing.

The Spirit

But I of all people would be remiss if I did not mention they have some nice Cognac brandy available, which is reminiscent of typical cafe digestifs in France – grounded and pleasant at a decent price. And they also have Brenne, the French single malt whisky.

Made with French barely in French stills in the Cognac region, Brenne is aged in new oak from the Limousin forest, and finished in casks that had previously aged Cognac.

A pure malt spirit of high quality, it is hard to believe it is a scant 7 years old. The telltale toasted marshmallow and wood spice of French oak are further enriched with the orange zest, white pepper, and maraschino cherries of the cognac finishing.

Its youth is revealed by the bubble gum vanillins and lactones on the nose, and the relatively quick finish. However, single malt this young would normally be a blend of various casks, to cover up the rougher edges of immature spirit and smooth out the uncouth tannins. Brenne is bottled as single cask whisky! – astonishing, since it shows none of the harshness normally experienced in younger malts.

If you haven’t already figured it out, the Cornelia Street Cafe is a veritable jewelry box of sensual pleasures and sensational Jazz, poetry, and other artistic expression. It is well worth the time if you are in Greenwich Village, and well worth the effort to get there if you are not.

Open every day except Christmas Day, with 700 shows a year.

But don’t just take my word for it. Here is what Trip Advisor has to say on the cafe.

And that is one man’s word on…

The Cornelia Street Cafe

Cornelia Street Cafe Painting

Painting by Stephen Magsig

Tennessee Williams Inspires New Music

Bushwick Book Club features Tennessee Williams

Monday, March 21, 8 PM, at Superfine, 126 Front Street, Brooklyn

This coming Monday, musical compositions will be performed, based on Tennessee Williams’s Pulitzer Prize winning play, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof.

A traveling musical performance event, Bushwick Bookclub invites songwriters to create new pieces of music inspired by various literary works. Be it in Seattle or New York City, or wherever, each event features a different novel or play.

Cat on a Hot Tin Roof starred Ben Gazara and Barbra Bel Geddes, winning the Pulitzer in 1955. It was later adapted for the screen and starred Paul Newman and Elizabeth Taylor.

I am pleased to announce I am among the songwriters invited to take part for this particular installment and shall be accompanied by various members of the Highland Shatners and Spoonville.

Superfine is a mighty fine restaurant in the Dumbo section of Brooklyn, just under the Manhattan bridge. The York Street stop on the F line is the nearest subway.

http://www.superfine.nyc/
Bushwick Book Club Website

John Guare to Lead Tennessee Williams Discussion Saturday Afternoon

When I read John Guare’s preface to the modern edition of Tennessee Williams Camino Real, I realized he was a true soul brother.

Too bad I read it an hour we had parted company.

Guare is speaking Saturday afternoon, March 5, on late Williams plays, after the performance of Williams 1982, at Walker Space in Manhattan. 3PM Curtain.

My review of Williams 1982

From BroadwayWorld.com

Playhouse Creatures Theatre Company will host a post-show discussion centered on the later work of Tennessee Williams following the March 5, 3pm performance of Tennessee Williams 1982. The participants include Tony-winning playwright John Guare, scholar and writer David Savran, scholar and current Tennessee Williams‘ editor Thomas Keith, and professor and writer Annette J. Saddik.

Tennessee Williams 1982 is an evening of two, little known, one-act plays by Tennessee Williams, both completed in 1982, the year before the playwright’s death. Directed by Cosmin Chivu (2013 revival of Tennessee Williams‘ The Mutilated), Tennessee Williams 1982 features the world premiere of A Recluse and His Guest and New York Premiere of The Remarkable Rooming-House of Mme. Le Monde. These two chamber pieces epitomize the theatrical imagination the playwright employed throughout his long writing career combined with the freedom he found later in life. Crisply written black comedies, these fierce plays center on the demands of unlikely human relationships in exotic locales fraught with tension.

Critic David Clarke in OUT said. “Tennessee Williams 1982 is a far cry from an evening of light theater, but that’s what makes it spectacular. A side of Williams that has rarely been seen, one in which Williams abandons realism to forcefully hold a mirror up to viewers and make them see the abject horrors of humanity.”

“The vital truths Williams’ reveals in these two one-acts are still present in raw and essential ways,” says director Chivu. “In fact, more that 30 years later, the plays feel more potent than ever-the compassion, the poetic fire, and the heartbreaking vision of American’s greatest playwright speak loudly in these compact works.”

Kate Skinner (The Graduate) leads the ensemble cast and is join by Ford Austin, Declan Eells, Anne Wechsler and Jade Ziane. Completing the creative team is Justin West and Brooke Van Hensbergen (set design), Angela Wendt (costume design), and John Eckert (lighting design), who join Joseph W. Rodriguez (Producing Artistic Director, Playhouse Creatures Theatre Company), Thomas Keith (Creative Producer), Olivia D’Ambrosio (Managing Director, Playhouse Creatures Theatre Company), Dana Greenfield (Associate Director) and Scott Davis (Assistant Director).

In the world premiere of A Recluse and His Guest, we meet a tall person of indeterminate gender-who, we later discover, is a woman named Nevrika. She has walked all winter through the Midnight Forest to a fictional town in a mythical, cold, northern country. In this poignant fable, it is her destiny to always move forward, never back. Looking for someone in the town to care for, she finds a miserable little creature named, Ott. He is the Recluse and she is the Guest who transforms him into a more-human human being, at least for a while.

Making its New York premiere, The Remarkable Rooming-House of Mme. Le Monde is a black comedy steeped in the brutal and the fantastic. Using acutely direct, comic, and unflinching action, Williams gives us a theatrical preview of the world we live in now. His vision is filled with humility for those who suffer while highlighting the greed of those who withhold sustenance along with our growing fetish for money and violence, both emotional and physical. However, Williams does offer hope: to recognize ourselves in a world where the “have-nots” are unfairly blamed for the inequities of the world because they are “accident prone.”

Performances of Tennessee Williams 1982 will take place February 14-March 13 (see schedule above) at Walkerspace (46 Walker Street, Manhattan). Critics are welcome as of Thursday, February 18 for an official opening of Sunday, February 21 at 7pm. The running time is 90 minutes with one intermission. Tickets, priced at $40 for general admission and $50 for premium seats, can be purchased by visiting playhousecreatures.org or by calling 800.838.3006.

John Guare‘s plays include Lydie Breeze; Bosoms and Neglect; Chaucer in Rome; Four Baboons Adoring the Sun; A Free Man of Color; and The House of Blue Leaves, which won an Obie and NY Drama Critics Circle Award for the Best American Play of 1970- 71 and four Tonys in its 1986 Lincoln Center revival; Six Degrees of Separation, which received the NY Drama Critics Circle Award in 1991 for its Lincoln Center production and the Olivier Best Play Award in 1993. Grove Press publishes Landscape of the Body, A Few Stout Individuals, and A Free Man of Color. Guare wrote the lyrics and coauthored the book for the 1972 Tony-winning Best Musical, Two Gentlemen of Verona and was nominated for a Tony Award for the book of the musical The Sweet Smell of Success in 2002. His screenplay for Louis Malle‘s Atlantic City earned him an Oscar nomination. In 2003 he won the PEN/Laura Pels Master Dramatist Award; in 2004, the Gold Medal in Drama from the American Academy of Arts and Letters; in 2005 the Obie for sustained excellence. He is a council member of the Dramatists Guild and co-editor of The Lincoln Center Theater Review.

Thomas Keith has edited Tennessee Williams for New Directions since 2002, over 16 titles including two full-length late plays and four volumes of previously unpublished or uncollected one-acts. He has written on Williams for American Theater Magazine, Tenn at One Hundred, The Later Plays of Tennessee Williams, The Tennessee Williams Encyclopedia, and Tennessee Williams and Europe among others and is the co-editor of The Selected Letters of Tennessee Williams and James Laughlin, forthcoming from W.W. Norton in 2017. He serves as Literary Director for the Provincetown Tennessee Williams Theater Festival and is an advisor to the Tennessee Williams/New Orleans Literary Festival and The Tennessee Williams Theatre Company of New Orleans. Keith began his career as an actor starring in Sam Shepard‘s Geography of a Horse Dreamer, the plays of Peter Hedges, in many plays at Ellen Stewart‘s La MaMa E.T.C., as well as The Public, Milwaukee Rep., Great Lakes Theater Festival, INTAR, Champlain Shakespeare, P.S. 122, Dixon Place, and Naked Angels, with directors including Tom O’Horgan, Edward Cornell, Terry Gilliam, John Vaccaro, Jeff Weiss, Sharon Ott, and Clifford Williams. The Creative Producer for the Drama League-nominated Off-Broadway revival of Tennessee Williams‘ comedy The Mutilated directed by Cosmin Chivu, Keith has also served as a dramaturg for The Sundance Institute Theater Lab with the Mabou Mines, a judge for The Kennedy Center College Theater Festival, and reader for the Yale Drama Prize. He has taught theater and acting at Ohio University and Lee Strasberg Institute, currently at Pace University and the Atlantic Theater Company Acting School.

David Savran is a specialist in twentieth and twenty-first century U.S. theatre, musical theatre, popular culture, and social theory. He is the author of eight books, whose wide-ranging subjects include The Wooster Group, Tennessee Williams, Paula Vogel, Tony Kushner, white masculinity, music theatre, and middlebrow cultural production. His most recent book is Highbrow/Lowdown: Theater, Jazz, and the Making of the New Middle Class, the winner of the Joe A. Callaway Prize. He has, in addition, published two collections of interviews with playwrights and has served as a judge for the Obie Awards and the Lucille Lortel Awards and was a juror for the 2011 and 2012 Pulitzer Prize in Drama. He is the former editor of the Journal of American Drama and Theatre and is the Vera Mowry Roberts Distinguished Professor of Theatre at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York.

Annette J. Saddik is Professor of English and Theatre at the City University of New York, where she specializes in twentieth- and twenty-first century drama and performance, and focuses on the work of Tennessee Williams. Her most recent book, Tennessee Williams and the Theatre of Excess: The Strange, The Crazed, The Queer (Cambridge University Press, 2015) contextualizes Williams’ plays, particularly the late work, through what she terms a “theatre of excess,” which seeks liberation through exaggeration, chaos, and ambivalent laughter. Her other books include Contemporary American Drama (2007), a study of the postmodern performance of American identity on the stage since World War Two; The Politics of Reputation: The Critical Reception of Tennessee Williams‘ Later Plays (1999), which was the first exploration of Williams’ post-1961 reputation; and The Traveling Companion and Other Plays (2008), an edited collection of Williams’ previously unpublished late plays. Dr. Saddik has also published essays on contemporary playwrights in several journals and anthologies, and serves on the boards of The Tennessee Williams Annual Review and the Journal of Contemporary Drama in English. In 2015 she was the recipient of Eastern Michigan University’s McAndless Distinguished Professor Award.

Review: Tennessee Williams 1982 – two-one acts premiere

Playhouse Creatures Theatre Company premiere two one-acts as Tennessee Williams 1982

Kate Skinner is riveting as the female lead in the world premiere of A Recluse and His Guest, and in the New York premiere of The Remarkable Rooming-House of Mme. Le Monde

Now through March 13, official opening night is February 21

Walker Space, at 46 Walker Street, is a walker’s a five minute stroll from the Canal St. R and Q stop.

Tennessee Williams 1982 Kate Skinner Patrick Darwin Williams                                            photos: Antonis Achilleos 

The cautionary and relatively gentle folktale of “The Recluse and His Guest” is paired with “The Remarkable Rooming-House of Mme. Le Monde,” an absurdist piece that is as kinetic as it is brutally funny, profane, and bordering on the obscene. It is hard to imagine two pieces being more different, coming from the same mind in the same year.

Read the Full Review

Tennessee Williams One Acts Ready for Premiere

Tennesee Williams one acts

TENNESSEE WILLIAMS 1982: The World Premiere of A Recluse and His Guest and The New York Premiere of The Remarkable Rooming-House of Mme. Le Monde.

It’s time to get your tickets. Don’t let it pass you by.

Previews are discounted, Feb. 14, 15, 16, & 18, 19, 20.

Opening night is sold out.

The show runs Wed. through Sun. at 7:30, Saturdays at 3:00 through March 13th.

Go to: http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/2474773

“These are two one-act plays written in 1982, the year before Williams died. He was not writing for the critics or for Broadway at that point, he was writing for an experimental theater that frequently saw him as establishment. While you will recognize his poetry, his vision was reaching much farther into the future.” – Thomas Keith, Williams scholar, editor, author.

About the Artists

“Playhouse Creatures Theatre Company is dedicated to strengthening the legacy of the American Theatre with dynamic, affordable, programming that examines the influences of the past on the present and future of our art form.”

Cosmin Chivu (director) is a Romanian-born theater artist, currently based in New York City, with an international career of award-winning productions. He has directed over 50 professional and university productions in America, Austria, England, Germany, Greece, Italy, Romania and Thailand, most recently Beautiful Province by Clarence Coo (LCT3), winner of the 2012 Yale New Drama Series, Something Cloudy Something Clear by Tennessee Williams at The Provincetown Tennessee Williams Theater Festival, a staged reading of Our Class by Tadeusz Slobodzianek at The Temple Emanu-El, Skirball Center, and the Off Broadway revival of Tennessee Williams‘ The Mutilated starring Mink Stole and Penny Arcade, which was nominated for a Drama League Award for Best Revival in 2013. Chivu is a lifetime member of the Actors Studio, a member of the Lincoln Center Directors Lab, an alumnus of the Old Globe’s Jack O’Brien fellowship and the founder of InterArt Theatre Group. Chivu is currently the Head of B.A. Acting/Directing Program, International Performance Ensemble at Pace University Performing Arts in New York City. He holds a Masters in Directing from the Actors Studio Drama School, New School University, NYC and a B.A. in Acting from the G. Enescu Art Academy, Romania. Visit cosminchivu.com to learn more.

“The vital truths Williams’ reveals in these two one-acts are still present in raw and essential ways.”  “In fact, more that 30 years later, the plays feel more potent than ever-the compassion, the poetic fire, and the heartbreaking vision of American’s greatest playwright speak loudly in these compact works.”

Kate Skinner (Mme. Le Monde / Nevrika) has starred on Broadway in The Graduate and Uncle Vanya (with Tom Courtenay). Off-Broadway credits include Honey Brown Eyes, The Mapmaker’s Sorrow, Ashes to Ashes, and Marvin’s Room. National Tours include Lend Me A Tenor and The Graduate. Most recent regional credits include All My Sons (Swine Palace), Henry IV Parts 1 & 2 with Stacy Keach (Shakespeare Theatre), Other Dessert Cities (Pioneer Theatre), Boeing Boeing (Engeman Theatre), Doubt & Agnes of God (ATC/Chicago), The Alchemist (Shakespeare Theatre), Noises Off (Denver Center Theatre), Uncle Vanya with Peter Dinklage (Bard SummerScape), Rabbit Hole (Cleveland Playhouse), Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf (Shakespeare Santa Cruz/Syracuse Stage) and Ah, Wilderness! (Guthrie Theatre). Her TV & film credits include The Affair, Unforgettable, Blue Bloods, all versions of Law & Order numerous times, several soap operas, Mona Lisa Smile, The Rage: Carrie II and Down The Shore (opposite James Gandolfini). She is married to author/actor Ron McLarty.

Playhouse Creatures Theatre Company Website: http://playhousecreatures.org/

Bowie in a Bar and Love in the Air

David Bowie has died and yet shall live on beyond anyone I know personally on a first name basis.

I had been absorbed in the football game and churning to the many Bowie tunes screaming loudly from the juke box in a Brooklyn bar for some time. So it wasn’t until I was singing harmony along to “Space Oddity” that I suddenly seized up and had a brief series of convulsive sobs.

I bought that album when I was 13 and never need to hear it again, since I have it imprinted on my soul and may call up every song at will.

I fought it off and wiped my eyes and drank my beer. And I knew it would not be the last such episode.

No one noticed my tears. My back was to the crowd, as I was watching a TV away from the main ones, with only the young couple at the end of the bar just ahead to my left. And they were not paying attention. But they did help distract me from the crumbled milestone of my own shortening lifetime.

Ireland is a very small place, with less than half the population of Brooklyn. And even with its inroads of Norse genes and some from the Spanish Armada, so they say, there are a very few, certain and distinct physical “types” that are recognizably Irish.

The girl at the end of the bar was one of these.

Quite tiny in stature, she had thick, towhead blonde hair clamped up like roadside weeds to reveal her wee ears. She was served a Bud without asking, before she had gotten her coat off. And she sat alone, trying to not worry about the strange man old enough to be her father who had caught her in his eye.

But the reason I found her so noticeable was that she resembled Van Morrison circa 1970, to a startling degree. She had the same round cheeks, button eyes, and that uniquely pointed nose that seemed to go up or down, depending upon the perspective, or the particular emotional expression.

Van the Man had always made me think of Mole from Wind in the Willows, and of course in his later years, Badger. But this lass made it all quite adorable and crush-provoking, if colorless in that alabaster sort of way. I can only imagine how rosy her cheeks must have been at 16.

Her date appeared and had his own coat off before the can of Pabst Blue Ribbon arrived, also un-ordered.

He was one of the other Irish types. He had full, dark brown hair, nicely groomed, with a thick, thoughtful brow and a straight, well-shaped nose of some prominence, if rather large ears for his own diminutive stature. He also had a thick, but short beard, which helped make him look a little older, even if he had the body of a marionette, yet still a bit broader and taller than hers.

Clean jeans and sneakers, a white collar showing from his lightweight “jumper” suggested that he was making an effort. His manner of speech suggested he was more Americanized than she, whereas she was most definitely Irish, even if she had been born here.

There was an immense gulf between their bar stools, considering how various regulars came over to stretch arms around them and say various drunkenly exuberant things that made her laugh and made him feel intellectually superior but affectionately at home.

So they were known there as a couple. And yet she sat with legs tightly crossed and her hands clasped tight upon them, occasionally toying with a thin chain around her neck.

He would have to lean toward her to say things, if the music was blaring, and she would reply at times, but mainly sat relatively content. And yet, when he looked away she looked at him with a manner that said she wished she could say more but couldn’t think of anything. His opinion mattered greatly but was as of yet uncertain, at least in her mind.

Eventually she had to succumb and went to use the Ladies Room. He became quite animated, having paid for most of the music playing, and took in the crowd, nodding here and there, but having no interest or even a clue as to how American football accounted for itself.

When she returned he was already back to his reserved manner. But well into their second Bud and Pabst, he found some reason to josh her. This gave her a good reason to poke him in a retaliatory way, so they could come together in some ritualized and mock animosity that allowed physical contact, with his hand upon her back for a few moments before he withdrew from her side of the gulf, where she continued to look at the back of his head with another silent “What are you waiting for?”

I left there feeling like the old geezer in “It’s a Wonderful Life”, who declares from his porch that youth is wasted on the young.

But I also left there aware of how life goes on even as millions of people die every single day, and even if so few of them are the kind of person who tells the world they are a star to be reckoned with, rather than the other way around, and then goes on to prove it over and over.

I should like to think this young fella will realize what a treasure is right there before his grasp and not squander such a once in a lifetime opportunity, as I once did long ago. And I think there is reason to hope he shall. After all, he was the one who kept playing the Bowie songs. And that says a lot right there.

Tennesee Williams 1982 in 2016, at NYC Theater

A pair of 1982 one-act plays by the legendary Tennessee Williams to be produced by Playhouse Creatures Theatre Company.

World premiere of A Recluse and His Guest and the New York Premiere of The Remarkable Rooming-House of Mme. Le Monde presented in a single evening, directed by Cosmin Chivu.

The Romanian-born Chivu received acclaim by critics and Willams scholars alike for his 2013 revival of  The Mutilated. Performances for the uppcoming works begin February 14, running at Walkerspace, 46 Walker St., Manhattan, and running through March 13, with the official opening set for February 21st.

Completed the year before Tennessee Williams died, “…these two chamber pieces epitomize the theatrical imagination the playwright employed throughout his long writing career combined with the freedom he found later in life. Crisply written black comedies, these fierce plays center on the demands of unlikely human relationships in exotic locales fraught with tension.”

“The vital truths Williams’ reveals in these two one-acts are still present in raw and essential ways,” says director Chivu. “In fact, more that 30 years later, the plays feel more potent than ever-the compassion, the poetic fire, and the heartbreaking vision of American’s greatest playwright speak loudly in these compact works.”

Kate Skinner (The Graduate, Uncle Vanya) will portray the leading roles in each play, with an ensemble cast and full design team TBA.

Full Press Release HERE

Playhouse Creature’s Official Site HERE

My in-depth analysis and review of Playhouse Creature’s Evening of Tennessee Williams Directors, featuring Austin Pendleton and Emily Mann HERE