Saturday, May 9, 2009

Our Town, New York City

Richard was in from LA and we met up to see a production of "Our Town" at the Barrow Street Theatre in Greenwich Village.

But before I get to the play, (let me play the part of the narrator here) I want to say that Richard and I used to meet every Thursday in the early part of the turn of the century for coffee at the Laurel Canyon Country Store in the Hollywood Hills. It was this tucked away place up Laurel Canyon with bad cell reception and a hippie history. Right up there, you see? In fact Jim Morrison lived right over there and Joni Mitchell sang about it. Those days and discussions with Richard were amazing out on the deck overlooking this groovy life. See the tan German lady frothing the milk for the lattes? She knew I liked the almond croissants. I looked forward to our coffee there every week.

We recreated our LA canyon moment by ducking down a wee side street in the Village called Commerce Street to have a quick coffee and split a Whoopie Pie! at Milk and Cookies. It was a great place to catch up. Folks I recommend this place. It was that perfect tucked away place with amazing samples and lots of light. Just go down yonder beyond Bleecker and there you are.

Folks I am here to admit what I did not realize until last night: I had never before seen, read, heard, rented "Our Town." It is such a part of the American psyche that I just assumed I was part of it. What a treat. This production was superb in every way. It is a stark, simple set throughout with house lights on the entire time. Then in the 3rd act (SPOILER ALERT) a curtain is pulled back and there is this authentic down to the working stove kitchen from around 1894, I believe. Mom is dressed in proper era attire and is cooking bacon (FOR REALS!!!) on an old stove and it wafts throughout the theatre. (More proof that everything, including theatre, is better with bacon.)

This play is about embracing life and being in the present and valuing life and each other. And kinda how we don't do that. We are born, we live and maybe get married and have kids and then we die and it is over for us. All we have is the moment. This moment.

Lovely, simple, profound play so well done.

And here I live in New York City, my own Grover's Corners, where I live my life and I see people and I have a meal and I have hopes and dreams. Perhaps maybe I will even die here. Who knows? But so far, all I know is for 1.5 wonderful years, I have lived an incredible life here.

I don't know when I will see Richard again, but we had this evening and that play and that Whoopie Pie and another wonderful chat. And for this my life may not be longer, but it is richard. I mean, richer.

Richard holding playbill.


easca said...

In 7th grade, Miss Thomas selected me to represent our class/grammar school to the Saint Ignatius Speech Contest. I won 4h place for my dramatic interpretation of Emily in "Our Town".
I still have parts of this memorized. I didn't really appreciate what it meant.

Man. Hat. In. said...

I LOVE that you got 4th Place for your dramatic interp. WHY didn't I remember that? Because we plain don't notice things do we mama?! Miss Thomas let me do a speech on the dangers of hot dog consumption. I went down in flames.

Criticlasm said...

Hot dogs are dangerous!

Is that Vincent D'Onofrio in the first row?

The show got a great review in the New Yorker, which more people subscribe to in LA than in NY. Just as an FYI