Tag Archives: Brooklyn Academy Of Music

King Lear Review

A dysfunctional family is never a good thing. A royal dysfunctional family is even worse.

William Shakespeare’s King Lear is the story of a king who gives up his throne to his daughters. While his sanity slowly fades, the kingdom falls apart.

Last night, King Lear made its premiere at Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM).

King Lear (Anthony Sher) has decided to step down from his thrown. He has three daughters and declares that she who loves him best will receive the biggest largest share of his kingdom. His elder daughters, Goneril (Nia Gwynne) and Regan (Kelly Williams) proclaim their love for their father. His youngest daughter, Cordelia (Mimi Ndiweni) is not as vocal about her love for her father as her sisters are. As a result, she is banished from her father’s kingdom.

The story then snowballs into treachery, madness and war.

While the play is a bit slow, it’s very well done. Shakespeare was making a point not just about family, but about politics, which can both be incredibly messy sometimes. Anthony Sher, in the title role, plays Lear with a mixture of conceit, insanity, foolishness and ultimately regret. It is a powerful play that for obvious reasons, is still as relevant in 2018 as it was in 1606.

I recommend it.

King Lear is playing at the BAM Harvey Theater (651 Fulton Street, Brooklyn NY 11217) until April 29th. Check the website for showtimes and tickets. 

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Broadway Play Review, New York City, William Shakespeare

Teri Garr Retrospective At BAM-Part II-Young Frankenstein (1974)

It takes a smart actor to play a dumb character. Teri Garr is one of those actors.

This weekend, the Brooklyn Academy of Music or BAM for short, is having a Teri Garr retrospective.

Earlier today, I saw Young Frankenstein (1974). A satire of Mary Shelley’s classic novel Frankenstein, as only Mel Brooks can conceive of, Dr. Frederick Frankenstein (Gene Wilder) is the American grandson of the infamous scientist, Victor Frankenstein. Frederick will do anything to prove that he is not his grandfather’s grandson, but when push comes to shove, the blood and the infamous history of Frankenstein’s takes over.

Teri Garr plays Inga, Frederick’s assistant.

Inga may appear to be just a dumb blonde speaking in a faux Eastern European accent and wearing a low-cut dress, but her character is vital to Frederick’s development from the beginning of the film to the end of the film. Along with Igor (Marty Feldman), they travel with Frederick from his denial of who he is to his acceptance of his DNA and his fate. Inga also gets some of the best lines in the film, as per the scene above.

I recommend this film, if nothing else, for Teri Garr’s performance.

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Books, Movie Review, Movies

Teri Garr Retrospective At BAM-Part I-Tootsie (1982)

It takes a smart actor to play a dumb character. Teri Garr is one of those actors.

This weekend, the Brooklyn Academy of Music or BAM for short, is having a Teri Garr retrospective.

Earlier today, I saw Tootsie (1982). Michael Dorsey (Dustin Hoffman) is an actor whose difficult reputation precedes him. Unable to get a job, he becomes Dorothy Michaels and gets a job on a soap opera. Garr plays Sandy, one of Michael’s actor friends whose neurosis is exacerbated by her inability to find work and Michael’s inconsistency during this period.

I’m not an actor, but I can imagine that many actors, especially those whose work history is sketchy, can relate to Sandy’s neurosis. She is the flip side to Jessica Lange’s Julie, Michael/Dorothy’s co-star and love interest. Ms. Garr could have gone completely out there, playing a stereotype. But there is a reality to her character. Sandy’s neurosis (which considering her choice of career is understandable) is firmly rooted in her lack of lack of self-esteem, which when done properly, can be incredibly funny. The character of Sandy is funny, as is the actress who plays her, Teri Garr.

Leave a comment

Filed under Movie Review, Movies, New York City

Scar

*This is not based on the Disney Beauty And The Beast. This is an extension of a scene from the Belle E La Beite play that was performed at the Brooklyn Academy Of Music last year.

*Rated M for mature content.

Scar

It was bound to happen. Despite their short acquaintance, they understood each other. He understood her loneliness; she understood his need for acceptance.

“A scar for a scar”

That was the moment they bonded. Life has not been kind to them.

But it was that first kiss that sealed their fate.

The moment her fingers grazed his cheek was the moment he was lost.

He had wanted to kiss her since the moment they met. He saw his former self, the handsome façade that he once prized, visiting her bed. The night she drank too much of the tea and lay in the guest bedroom, he opened the robe he lent her. As his lips grazed her abdomen, he knew that he could have done with her whatever he wanted. There was no one to stop him. But he couldn’t do it.

She was not a virgin, she lost her virginity to a high school boyfriend that she wanted to forget. She wanted to forget all of them. The father who abandoned her long ago, the previous boyfriends who returned her heart back to her in pieces. The feelings he brought to the surface; the anxiety, the questions if she was as attracted to him as her heart said she was. It had been a very long time since anyone had stirred such feelings in her.

She was in his arms, returning his kiss. He wanted to kiss every inch of her, to love her as she deserved to be loved.

She shucked off the brown trench coat, giving him access to her neck and shoulders. She melted into him as his lips blazed a trail down her neck and shoulders before turning her around again, falling to his knees, licking her breasts and pinching the nipples through the dress.

Pulling him to his feet, she undid the buttons of his shirt.

“You don’t have to” he stopped her.

“I want to see all of you” she kissed him again, continuing to unbutton his shirt.

When she finished with his shirt, she pulled off her dress.

“You’re beautiful”.

“What are you waiting for?”.

They were in each other’s arms once more and somehow made their way to his bed.

It would become a memorable evening that would forever affect the rest of their lives.

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Beauty And The Beast, Fanfiction

A Dolls House- A Timeless Masterpeice

It is a truth universally acknowledged that certain stories are meant to live forever, re-visited and introduced again and again to audiences.

Such is Henrik Ibsen’s masterpiece, A Doll’s House, presently at the Brooklyn Academy Of Music until March 23rd.

Nora and Torvald Helmer (Hattie Morahan and Dominic Rowan, Elinor Dashwood in the 2008 Sense and Sensibility and Mr. Elton in the 1996 Kate Beckinsale Emma, for my fellow Janeites) have been married for nine years.  The play opens just before Christmas, Torvald is waiting for a promotion to bank manager, which will mean a raise. His wife, Nora, appears to be flighty and somewhat dimwitted.

The arrival of Nora’s childhood friend, Kristine Linde (Caroline Martin) reveals that Nora is much more than she appears.  Early into her marriage, Torvald became sick.  Following doctors orders, they traveled to Italy where the warm weather was recommended to improve Torvald’s health. Unbeknownst to her husband, Nora took out a loan which she is secretly paying off and has not told him. One of her husband’s employees, Nils Krogstad (Nick Fletcher) knows that he will be out for a job very soon and tries to use the unpaid loan to get his job back.

This play is amazing. Morahan is perfect for Nora and Rowan is equally as perfect as Torvald.  The tension is there from the moment that it starts. The audience knows Nora’s secret and we all know that it will only be a matter of time before Torvald finds out. The slamming of the door at the final moments of play reverberated throughout the theater.

I’ve heard of this play, but I’ve never seen it.  I hope to see it next time it comes my way.

Leave a comment

Filed under Broadway Play Review, Feminism, Reviews

A Scar For A Scar- Simple Yet Perfect

This weekend, I bought ticket to a limited run of Lemieux and Pilon’s La Belle et la Bete at  BAM.

It ran only three performances, but if this production comes to a theater near you, I highly reccomend it.

There have been numerous adaptations of Beauty and The Beast over the years, most famously, the Disney movie from the early 90’s.

But none as simple and powerful at this adaptation.

Stripped down to a 90 minute three act play with only three characters on a nearly empty stage, the special effects assist the story and the actors without overwhelming them.

The thing that makes this adaptation so memorable is that a single line in the play is all you need to know about the lead characters “A scar for a scar”.

Stripped of the 16th century trappings of the original story and the Disneyfied singing and dancing household objects, Beauty and Beast is a very simple, beautiful and timeless tale. It is the tale of two people, who have been knocked down by life, who feel like outsiders, who each bear scars from their pasts. Through their interactions with each other, they begin to heal, accept themselves and find the internal peace they have been searching for.

I wish it had a longer run, but I am glad I had a chance to see it this weekend. I would most certainly see it again if it came to my area.

1 Comment

Filed under Beauty And The Beast, Broadway Play Review, Reviews