Predictably, the leadership in these counties were not pleased with the new arrivals that have forced upon them by city leaders.
Obviously, the big-picture solution would come via Congress and an overhaul of our immigration system. But until that happens, President Biden and the federal government have to step in. I don’t know if it is via funding, or finding where these people can work, or something else. Either way, leaving it for the states or local municipalities to handle is making the problem worse.
For the last few weeks, Levant has been hospitalized due to mental health and addiction. His doctors have given him a four-hour pass to supposedly attend his daughter’s graduation. Instead, Oscar will be on television. While Oscar’s wife, the former June Gale (Emily Bergl) wants to be the loving and supportive spouse, she also knows that what can give him is not enough.
Hayes blew me away. I knew he was good (I’ve been a fan ofWill & Grace for years), but I didn’t know he was that good.
Hayes’s Levant is a sarcastic blowhard who is not afraid to speak truth to power. He is also dealing with emotional scars that have yet to heal. Hiding those scars under jokes and pills, he is a complicated man who is both unlikeable and open about his mental illness. This is in an era in which the list of what was not allowed to be said on television was long and likely to offend many.
The strongest scene in terms of the writing (which is truly a hard decision to make) is the one in which Levant tells his story. In creating fiction (specifically in novels), there are two ways that a writer can get tripped up: showing vs. telling and infodumps. By its nature, a good script shows the action instead of telling the audience what is happening.
That does not mean, however, that the playwright can get bungled up and forget to show. What playwright Doug Wright does brilliantly is to unfold Levant’s biography in a way that is informative and funny without turning a dry list of dates and events.
When he finally gets to the piano, Levant is in his element. Hayes is hypnotic when he is playing. It was breathtaking, and beautiful, and will forever be burnt into my brain.
Do I recommend it? Absolutely. This play cannot be missed.
Good Night, Oscar is playing until August 27th. Check the website for tickets and show times.
Though it seems that the antisemitism of the past has died, it is simmering just under the surface. As time progresses and the family changes, the safety net slowly dissipates, revealing the dark underbelly that was only waiting for an opportunity to be released into the world.
Leopoldstadt is one of the best plays I have ever seen. If my own work is half as good as this script, I will jump for joy.
What astounds me is that there are 38 main characters across multiple decades and generations. In my own writing, one of the rules that I go by is to limit the number of people who exist within the worlds I am creating. Too many characters make it confusing for both the writer and the reader/audience. No one on that stage is an afterthought or hastily drawn.
Based on the revelations of Stoppard’s own family history that was hidden for decades, this story is universal, heartbreaking, joyous, and a reminder that the Holocaust is far from ancient history.
By the time we got to the final scene, the stage felt empty. It was as if the ghosts of those who were murdered filled up the space, begging the audience to never forget. My heart was pounding, and my mouth was open, but I could not speak. Without giving the specific details away, I will say that it is devastating and heartbreaking.
Do I recommend it? Absolutely. Run, don’t walk to see Leopoldstadt.
Leopoldstadt is playing until July 2. Check the website for tickets and showtimes.
Even though it is nearly 70 years old, it is as funny and subversive as it was during the original run. One falls for Sugar (Monroe) but is unable to tell her the truth. The other catches the eye of an eccentric millionaire, Osgood (Brown), who does not understand the word “no”.
The Broadway reimagining of the film opened earlier this year. Stepping into the roles of their iconic predecessors are Christian Borle as Joe/Josephine, J. Harrison Ghee as Jerry/Daphne, Adrianne Hicks as Sugar, and Kevin Del Aguila as Osgood.
In a nutshell, the narrative skeleton is the same. What has changed is that this production takes the themes of its big-screen counterpart and makes it feel relevant in 2023.
For starters, it is much more inclusive when it comes to casting and gender roles. One of the book writers is Amber Ruffin, giving Sugar and the other female characters a real-world voice and perspective deepens their humanity. One thing I really liked is that under the comedy, there is a reality when it comes to skin color and sex. I would love to say that this reality is in the past, but it isn’t.
Overall, I enjoyed the show. I just wish that the underground rebelliousness was a little more prevalent.
Do I recommend it? I am leaning toward yes.
Some Like It Hot is playing at the Shubert Theater in New York City. Check the website for tickets and showtimes.
There is justice in this world. It does not always come when we want it to, but it will happen.
Earlier this week, the jury in the E. Jean Carroll case found the former guy guilty of sexual assault and defamation. He will have to pay her $5 million dollars in damages. Of course, he turned around and appealed. But what do you expect from a coward who hides behind a big ego and less-than-capable lawyers?
Puberty is one of the many aspects of the natural life cycle of a human being. Without it, we cannot grow from child to young adult and then to full adult. That does not mean, however, that the process is not challenging.
Though she makes friends easily, Margaret misses her grandmother Sylvia (Kathy Bates). As the school year progresses, puberty sets in, creating a set of questions that do not have black-and-white answers. What Margaret wants most of all is to start menstruating. Raised without religion by her Jewish father Herb (Benny Safdie) and Christian mother Barbara (Rachel McAdams), she starts talking to the almighty and exploring faith in its various incarnations.
Her mother is also going through a learning phase of her own. After giving up her job, Barbara fills her days with trying to put their new house together and joining the local PTA. But the artist in her is not content to put aside her painting for good.
This film is amazing. It was the perfect reminder of that time in life. The narrative is gentle, organic, and respectful of Margaret’s journey. Instead of being pigeonholed into a certain type of character, our protagonist is human and full of the contradictions that come with the pre-teen years.
I can’t end this review without remarking on the fact that this novel has been a target of the book-banning crowd for decades. What makes this book “ban-worthy” is that its lead character is given room to grow beyond what is still sadly expected for girls. It’s not just about boys and future romantic relationships. It’s about figuring out who you are as a person.
What I think also riles them up is that Margaret is not just the child of an interreligious marriage. It’s that religious faith of any kind is not part of how she is being raised. While praying to a specific creator for many is important, this decision by Blume is a reminder that not everyone believes the same way.
Do I recommend it? Absolutely.
Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret. is currently in theaters. In fact, I would not be surprised if it is included in any top ten lists at the end of the year.
When you travel using the NYC MTA system, you never know what you will experience. It could be uneventful ride or it could be a major news headline.
Last week, Jordan Neely was killed in an incident on the subway. The actions that led to his death are unclear. One set of facts claims that he was killed via choking (a la Eric Garner) simply due to his skin color and that he was homeless. The other set of facts states that Mr. Neely was acting erratically and scaring (for lack of a better term), the passengers. The man accused of his murder, Daniel Penny, was trying to hold him down until the police came.
The problem is that there were no cameras on the platform that could have verified the facts.
The only thing that the public, law enforcement, and the city can go by is the testimony of eyewitnesses and the footage on their phones. Which we can easily point to general issues that created this shitstorm, there is no easy answer to why Jordan Neely is dead.
Her choice is a surprising one. He is John Jacob Astor IV, the scion of the wealthy and powerful Astor family. He is also recently divorced and nearly thirty years her senior. Despite their differences, their marriage is based on love.
After enjoying an extended honeymoon overseas, their way of getting home is via the Titanic. Newly pregnant, they are looking forward to a lifetime of happiness. Just before getting into the lifeboat, Madeleine’s husband promises that they will find one another in New York.
Several months later, she is a widow with a newborn. Madeleine has two choices. The first is to go with the image of the tragic widow that has been bestowed on her by the press. The second is to walk on a path of her own choosing.
I loved this book. Abe jumps between 2 perspectives: the omniscient narrator and Madeleine telling her son about his father. It reminded me that behind the numbers were human beings who were more than survivors and victims.
Do I recommend it? Absolutely.
The Second Mrs. Astor: A Heartbreaking Historical Novel of the Titanic is available wherever books are sold.
In the shadow of the affair between Monica Lewinsky and then President Bill Clinton, she starts sleeping with her writing Professor. He is older, married, and makes her feel seen and attractive. As the school year wears on, their “relationship” forces Isabel to start answering difficult questions. As his secrets come to light and the older generation reveals their flaws, she discovers that life is far from black and white.
I loved this book. This coming-of-age tale is full of complications, narrative twists and turns, and a protagonist I immediately connected with. Isabel is intelligent, hopeful, slightly insecure, and unaware of the potholes that life will be shortly sending her way.
Do I recommend it? Absolutely. I would also argue that it is one of my favorite books that I have read so far this year.
My Last Innocent Year: A Novel is available wherever books are sold.
Originally from Poland, David was the only member of his immediate family to see the end of the war. The only reason he walked out of Auschwitz was his singing. The audience travels with David and his grandson Avi as he talks about his past and visits the place in which he nearly died.
I loved it. I was in tears by the end. This was a man who had every reason to be angry and bitter. But he found the light and a reason to live. It is a message that anyone can relate to.
His attacker (who shall remain nameless on this blog) was given a slap on the wrist: six months in jail and five years probation. Alvin Bragg‘s office claims that they did a thorough investigation. If they did, these men would have been charged with a hate crime and given a significant jail sentence.
The message is loud and clear: anyone who verbally or physically assaults a Jewish person in NYC will not be treated as the criminal they are. They will be told they were naughty and nothing more.
That is not the city I know and love. Shame on you, Alvin Bragg. You know better. You could have done better, but you chose not to.
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