Monday, June 14, 2010

Escape from New York

I'm back from a few days down in the Big Apple, taking in theatre, dance, and art. And you know what? I came back with a deeper appreciation than ever of our own arts scene. The three shows I caught (Race, the Tony-winning Red, and the Off-Broadway Pulitzer nominee The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity), were all strong shows - but none were truly superb. And to be honest, none were as good as the best of what we have in Boston. None were as powerful as the Huntington's All My Sons, or unfolded as cleverly as Merrimack Rep's The Blonde, the Brunette, and the Vengeful Redhead, or were as laugh-out-loud funny as SpeakEasy's The Savannah Disputation. And Jesus Christ, the theatres! They made me looong for the Calderwood Pavilion. The Golden Theatre, where Red is showing, is one of those second-tier Broadway houses with no lobby, a sleazy john, and an exit right into an alley. And Second Stage, home of Chaz Deity, is a godawful Rem Koolhaas not-so-cool house, with acid orange walls, uncomfortable seats, and even windows (?); it's all formalist quirk sans coherent vision (like most of Koolhaas, actually). Anyway, I'm home, and will write about all those shows in more detail this week.