Sunday, April 21, 2013


Having seen Fiona Shaw, purportedly a great Irish actress, sear and toss the scenery in Testament of Mary, supposedly an illuminating rant by Christ's mother after the crucifixion, which included a pre-curtain cuddle with a vulture that played no part in the hysterical proceedings, and an unnecessary fillip(or lack of one) of her taking a bath, I have finally lost my unconditional love of theater in New York.  Many have been those who disrobed this season, with its overpriced tickets and disappointing productions, none of whose bodies were worth the what-must-have-been exorbitant cost of adding to the set a tub that actually sank enough that the flasher, once settled in the water, was on eye level.  Having celebrated at the beginning of the week the artistry of the great set designer #Tony Walton, it was an insult to the eye to perceive such a flagrant(in the true sense of the word) assault on aesthetics.  My host, a very smart theatre critic, could not wait to rush up the aisle, as the audience, a great number of whom rose to their feet, crying "Bravo!" which has become for me after a score of high-priced disappointments, the Hullaballooed version of Get Me Out of Here!

Alan Cumming took a bath in his MacBeth, but I forgave him as he was such a clever surprise in the cable showing of Romy and Michelle's High School Reunion I think it was called, where mostly I wondered how Hollywood had found him at such a young time, and, happily, I missed Breakfast at Tiffany's, where the young man took a bath.  I was assured by my escort that the young man in The Nance, who is supposedly very beautiful, was a pleasure to see stepping out of his bath. But why, I ask you, or, even more pointedly, them, add gratuitous bathtubs? I saw the gifted daughter of a friend, #Casey Danson, take a bath off Broadway some ten days ago, with two other young women, all in separate tubs.  But they still had their clothes on, and thermapacks to keep them from freezing, and it was part of their dramas, as the real-life tragedies on which the plays were based, had involved the actual women having been drowned in bathtubs.  I found myself wishing that in spite of all Mary and her Son had been through, the same might happen to he.

This has been, arguably, or perhaps not even needing or calling for an argument, as bad a week as my country, Tis, I hope, still of Thee, has seen since 9/11, the horror of the Marathon, exacerbated by the failure of the Senate to come through on a more restrictive gun law showing that we are in the hands of paid politicos whose self-interest and probably bribes are more important than the needs, wants, or deserved protection of the people.  #Maureen Dowd in today's Times blames Obama for not taking a more assertive hand with the Congress, and I would have argued except I could not help thinking what Lyndon Johnson would have done, how artfully he would have played those sons of bitches, most particularly Mitch McConnell, who is a disgrace to his country, and his fat elected seat, who might be more accurately described as sons of Mitches.

I am so very sad.  I wish there was some place to move that might be better for questing human beings, particularly those who want to stay alive. But I am afraid we are still as good as it gets, and that must make the Founders very sad, if there are value judgments and emotions in the Afterlife, if there is an Afterlife, or even if not, as the disgrace of the Senates' behavior resonates into the Heavens. I know they exist, because every once in a while I remember to look up, and see how beautiful the world was meant to be, without madmen in it, or politicians.  Or people who take off their clothes onstage because the words or the sentiments depicted therein do not have enough substance or value to justify the cost of what was supposed to be an evening's uplift.  Which Shakespeare would not have needed to his ball sac, I believe it's called, or his leading lady's tits.