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Showing posts from February, 2019

A Man for All Seasons

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A Man for All Seasons is Robert Bolt’s play about Sir Thomas More, the Chancellor of England who stubbornly refused to approve of King Henry VIII’s decision to divorce his wife (first of eight), Katherine of Aragon, so that he could marry… um, which one was it… Anne Boleyn. He was summarily executed. The good King, of course, severed ties with The Mother Church - as Pope Clement VII refused to grant him the divorce - and established The Church of England.
Bolt has made Thomas a modest hero, a hero for modern times. He is a far reach from St. Joan, who said at her trial “Take care what you do, for in truth I am sent by God, and you put yourself in grave danger.” No, Saint Thomas More (he was eventually canonized) keeps his opinions to himself. He tries to avoid the King’s wrath through obsequience - “I am sick to think how much I must displease your grace” - and silence - “Silence is not denial and for my silence I am punished with imprisonment.” Still, discretion does him no good, and …

Bleach

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Bleach is an extended monologue by Dan Ireland-Reeves, presented by Spin Cycle. It presents a likable male prostitute, Tyler, addressing us, and it’s set in his apartment. It’s been performed in Europe, proscenium-style. Here in New York, director Zack Carey immerses the audience in Tyler’s world, inviting us into Tyler’s apartment. Very smart indeed, well suited to the material. Tyler’s home radiates poverty, but more strongly neglect.
Tyler lives in a dumpy basement apartment in Brooklyn, and indeed we travel to a dumpy basement apartment in Brooklyn to see the show, and we spend its 75-minute duration sitting in Tyler’s bedroom. Instead of a lobby, we enter a small,  dumpy kitchen; the bedroom, the performance space, is in the next room.
Joyce Hahn’s set is terrific: a bed; a few arm chairs and sofas for the audience. We the audience totaled six the night I attended; it doesn’t look like the room could sit more than eight of us. The walls are brick or stone, the stone painted white l…