Report From New York

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Kevin Spacey as Richard III, in a production by the Bridge Project out of The Old Vic in London, directed by Sam Mendes, was indescribably amazing.  As both the New Yorker and the New York Times noted in their reviews, Spacey is truly over the top in his portrayal of “Richard III,” and he pulls it off.  David, Anne, Steve and I were stunned by the brilliance of the performance and the entire production.  David and I cancelled our foodie dinner reservation for last night and went to see another play instead, because we were hungrier for more live performance than we were for fancy food.

Yesterday we saw “And God Created Great Whales,” a Culture Project production of a play created, composed and written by Rinde Eckert, who also stars in the play.  Eckert plays Nathan, an aging piano tuner/composer who is losing his memory while he’s trying to complete an opera based on Moby Dick.  The play was first performed in 2000 and again in 2001, 2009, and now.  Using a tape recorder to keep himself on track, and a muse embodied in a beautiful woman named Olivia (played by Nora Cole), Nathan explores music, memory, love, the meaning of life and time and space, and how art keeps us on track.  Not simple stuff, but layered through dialogue and music in a complex weave that made David and I clear we’d made the right decision to forego foodieness for another immersion in theater.

And then there’s the visual intensity of Manhattan, certainly different from Paris, but just as compelling.  The peeling walls and old plaster of the un-refurbished interior of the Brooklyn Academy of Music Harvey Theater revealed lovely old patterns, the NYC subway tile work is brilliantly decorative at many stops, the long avenues unfold into long views of what looks like endless city, Cafe Grumpy’s decorative capucinno is delicious, and the walk along the Hudson River Greenway yesterday was a grand reminder of the seaport origins of this magnificent city.

This was all swirling in my head as we left the theater yesterday.  I stopped and looked at the piano where Nathan had sat, fringed with sticky notes like a shawl of memory and music and bounded by a rope to help hold in his tenuous connection to the present.  The piano grinned like a secret from the stage.

Advertisements

About Grace Mattern

Grace Mattern is a poet, writer, mother, grandmother, partner, friend, family member, gardener, triathlete, hiker and for 30 years was the Executive Director of the NH Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence. She resigned her position at the Coalition on June 15, 2011 in order to concentrate on her writing, while continuing to engage in the movement to end violence against women as a consultant and advisor. Her chapbook Fever of Unknown Origin was published in 2001 and her full-length poetry book The Truth About Death was published in 2012.
This entry was posted in Art, Music, Travel. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s