Getting to the Good Stuff: The Myopia, Lear & Goodbye Cruel World

There seems to be an embarrassment of riches out there right now.  I got a chance to see Plays and The Myopia from the wonderful folks at the Foundry.  I would describe it, except that you have to see David Greenspan work his magic.  Plays is an essay on reading plays by Gertrude Stein, which Greenspan goes to riff on in The Myopia.  When David Cote called him a “one man cabinet of wonders, ” he wasn’t kidding.  This slight man, with nothing but a chair and bottle of water takes you on an epic, sweeping journey.

The, you should really run to see Goodbye, Cruel World before it closes this weekend.  Robert Ross Parker adaptation of Erdman’s The Suicide dazzles and delights as he orchestrates a cyclone of serious fun with Cindy Cheung, Will Harper and Paco Tolson as  Semyon Semyonovich, the man who tries to kill himself.  See Zinoman’s thoughts on it here.

And then there is Young Jean Lee’s Lear.

And here is an interview with her that illuminates her process/inspiration for the play:

I haven’t been as moved by a piece of theater in some time and I admire the ambitious nature of her storytelling.   About 2/3 of the way through, the ceiling became the floor.  Run to see it.  It’s sold out, but there are wait list tickets, I believe.

In a week, I got to witness three pretty inspiring shows, all radically different.

Now, you might be asking yourself, “Carla’s a teaching artist.  She’s a playwright.  How does she have money for theater tickets.”  In these hard economic times, I appreciate that so many theatermakers are going to great lengths to get people like us in the doors.  I got Lear through the Soho Rep 99cent Sundays deal.   Goodbye, Cruel World had a half-price matinee ticket.  And Melanie Joseph at the Foundry put out the work to people in theater that she was going to offer the Plays/The Myopia double bill for $20 to folks who bought tickets for the first week in advance.  Now, the question is, how can Off-Broadway and Broadway houses take a cue from their downtown counterparts and get young folks, artists, and people who most desperately need to see theater, in the doors.

Knock knock.  Who’s listening?

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