|photo credit: Douglas Gorenstein|
The instant single tickets went on sale for the Encores Off-Center concert production of Assassins, I pounced. I'm glad I did, because the brief run sold out pretty quickly. I bought my ticket even before they announced the cast, but for me, the show is the star. Of course, once the cast was announced, I was even MORE excited to see it! What a theater-star-studded extravaganza! It was almost an embarrassment of riches, but since there were only a few performances, it was probably easier to get people to sign on.
Cutting to the chase, I loved the show. Of course I did. But seeing Assassins now, in the current political climate, is almost overwhelming. It seems even darker and more relentless now, at least to me. I was holding my breath for nearly the entire show. Thankfully, my crowd didn't stop the show when the Balladeer sang "every now and then the country goes a little wrong" (I've heard that laughter and applause stopped some performances), but there were many rueful and sad chuckles throughout the evening. I thought Steven Pasquale was sublime as Booth, but it's really probably an actor-proof role, it's written that well. He sang beautifully, of course, but also commanded the stage throughout his book scenes. And he and Cory Michael Smith as Lee Harvey Oswald knocked that book depository scene out of the park. I found the scene even more brilliant and chilling than before - I burst into tears at one point, seeing how one disenfranchised man could change the course of history. I'm afraid it's going to happen again and again, with the way things are going with our current government.
|photo credit: Joan Marcus|
The day after I saw Assassins, I got on a plane and jetted out to Los Angeles for a work event. I was also fortunate enough to see King of the Yees, at the Kirk Douglas Theatre in Culver City. I know the playwright, Lauren Yee, a bit and have read a few of her plays over the years, so I was thrilled to see one live. I saw a preview performance (the play has since opened), so I'll only offer a few thoughts.
|Photo credit: Craig Schwartz|
The L.A. trip was a good one, lots of good work was done, and I enjoyed meeting so many interesting and interested people. It was cool to have one of our events at the Theater at the Ace Hotel - an amazing old theater that's recently been restored. It was gorgeous. I also had some good food - after reading about the restaurant Eggslut, I was keen on trying one of their breakfast sandwiches. I thought the bacon, egg and cheese sandwich was terrific; the soft brioche bun soaked up the yummy runny egg and the chipotle ketchup. Oh, and their cold brew coffee was delicious, too. I also enjoyed the skirt steak taco at Public School and the crab cakes with passion fruit buerre blanc at Yard House. I had a whole list of places I wanted to try, but as usual, there just wasn't enough time. I'll put some fun photos at the bottom.
Wimbledon also played a big part in my L.A. trip - I was so happy that Jet Blue had Direct TV on board so I could watch the men's semifinals on the flight out west, it made the trip go so much faster. And being out west meant I could wake up early and watch my tennis crush, Roger Federer, win again. I have to admit there was crying; I knew he could win the major titles again, but I had no idea he could come back from his injury layoff this strongly. I'm just trying to relax and enjoy his run while it lasts. But the anticipation for the US Open could get to be too much as the summer goes on...
I just want to quickly mention that this jet lag has been kicking my butt and I have been a crabby mess since I got back. I'm happy that I had a reservation to see Indecent again when I got back. Seeing it again cheered me a great deal - this time, I sat in the mezzanine (both of my other visits had me sitting very close in the orchestra) and I really enjoyed it up there. I could appreciate the expert direction even more from up there and I could also hear some things I hadn't heard before, since my focus differed. I loved the show yet again and hope it gets extended one more time (though I doubt it will), I would love to take my mom when she's here for tennis week. It's been a long time since I've wanted to return to a show multiple times and I'm enjoying the feeling. I'm also rather excited that my last two and my next three shows are all written by women - I don't know exactly if that's what will cheer me, but I'm certainly optimistic and looking forward to some new points of view...