Tuesday, January 22, 2013

l. . .likely as Pluto crash-landing into the parking ot

Even more than usual   theater in New York has been all about  revivals of plays  from another era,  made "new"  again courtesy of star casting.   To see a play  that explores  contemporary  issues,  like the  economic crisis that has  made the American Dream an American nightmare for many,  Off-Broadway is the place to go.
One of  the smartest  such exploration  is  Bethany by Laura Marks starring   America Ferrera  (best known as the decidedly NOT ugly Ugly Betty).   Ferrera   is Crystal  a  cars saleswoman who' has lost her home-- and with it, custody of her little daughter (the unseen title character).  On top  of that the dealership where she works is about to close with  potential  customers walking  in ever less likely  -- or as   her  boss puts it with a nifty simile:

If we get any walk-ins, which at this point is about as
likely as Pluto crash-landing into the parking lot, 

Here's the link to my review of the play:


Thursday, January 3, 2013

Downton Abbey: Revered -- and Regurgitated

 I'm  writing  this  as Downton Abbey launches its  third  season.  Its fans, yours truly included,  will  eat it up. 
But the   phenomenally  successful upstairs-downstairs  TV  soap  opera   also has its  detractors,   most amusingly  so   James Parker  in  the  February  issue of   The Atlantic Monthly.  His article  Brideshead  Regurgitated    sees  the  show  as   a  sad  fall  from   the  more literary  Brideshead  Revisited. of  many seasons past.
Parker  won't prevent me  or   the  legion of  fans  from watching  Season  3.   Besides   quite  a few chuckles he  also   dished up   two  delicious similes,  one about the  dialogue and  the other about the "emonic lady's maid  O'Brien's  hairdo. 
Though Parker admits that the   dialogue   "spins light-operatically along in the service of multiplying plotlets  an  is  not too hard on the ear"   he  does warn that. . .
  Now and again a line lands like a tray of dropped spoons.
 As  for  O’Brien's  hair. . .
 Her hairstyle consisting of two ringlets perched on her forehead like horns