Saturday, January 2, 2010

Brief Encounter

Why is it that I don't assume beautiful woman can be funny?  There is plenty of evidence to the contrary. I allow them to be serious and dramatic but in my head funny is for Sophie Tucker.

Ellie and I went to see "Brief Encounter" at St. Anne's Warehouse in Brooklyn today.  It is a British import based on the film of the same name with screenplay by Noel Coward based on his one-act play "Still Life."   What an exciting, well-done on every level, fun and moving production.

I saw the excellent "Black Watch" at St. Anne's and now this. If I ever get something like steady work I am getting season tickets to St. Anne's as it has the kind of productions that draw me in.

This production of "Brief Encounter" inventively conceived and directed by Emma Rice starts in the lobby with singers dressed as old-fashioned ushers at the cinema.  They invite you into 1938 and the chance to sit and enjoy a film, "Brief Encounter."  Then these ushers are absored into the screen and become characters in the play.

Ellie's frined Annette McLaughlin is one of these ushers.  I first met her at "Liza at the Palace" and she is a stunning woman. As she was here today.  And I allowed ingenue, but not Lucille Ball.  She takes the stage and becomes "Myrtle" the proprietress of the tea room at the train station.  She has rimmed glasses right out of a "Far Side" cartoon and a caboose that practically beats to the rhythm of the trains.  Ellie and I both did a double take because Annette was so amazingly lost in this character and hysterical.  What a great performance.

Afterwards the cast sings and plays their instruments in the lobby again.  Just fantastic.  I recommend you go and see this one.

And if that weren't enough we went out for a meal with Annette at Rice and got to ask her all about the play. What a great day.  Thanks, Annette and we look forward to following your career.

1 comment:

Criticlasm said...

Remember that Lucille Ball was an ingenue first!

This looks so great. Still so sad I didn't know about Blackwatch here until it left!