Who us? Of course not!!! Above is a picture taken last night of my good friend Evangelina (who is on the right) and me (sorry for poor picture quality; could my camera please not have a nervous breakdown whenever both zoom and flash are used simultaneously???) We’re in the very comfy lobby of the off-off-Broadway theater Center Stage, waiting to see a new play called “The Dirty Talk.” It was a special occasion because it marked the foray of Evangelina’s husband, Michael, an accountant and actor, into theater producing — go Michael!
The play was good. It was about these two men who agree to meet in person after having met online in one of those naughty-talking chat-rooms. Only the one guy, characterized by the title of this post, thinks he is going to be hooking up with a Hooters-working nursing-school student with the stereotypical enormous breasts, instead of a sensitive bisexual man. The two end up stuck alone together in a Jersey cabin out in the woods during a nasty thunderstorm, and the encounter eventually compels the first man to explore the reasons underlying his, shall we say, problematic personality traits, which are partly responsible for ending his marriage, and which stem from upsetting childhood experiences in which his father attempted to “make a man out of him” via various disturbing rituals.
Why do men do that to their sons??? My grandfather and grandmother did that “becoming a man” b.s. to my dad by forcing him into the army. But he was far too sensitive for the military, and I think it’s permanently damaged him psychologically.
Anyway, my only gripe with the play was with the second character, who I thought was just not fully fleshed out enough. I understood his need to pretend to be a woman online, but couldn’t fathom what he was thinking by actually showing up at the cabin as … himself. At one point, the other character asks him, “what were you thinking?” and he doesn’t really have an answer. So, he seemed to be more of a catalyst for the other, more compellingly dynamic character’s self- exploration.
The acting was excellent, and the play was by turns hilarious and sad. I used to go to these small off-off-Broadway plays all the time when I first moved to New York, and haven’t been in a while. I’d forgotten how much I like them. You can sit practically onstage, where you can see the action up close and really feel like you’re a part of it. To me, you get so much more out of the production than you do a big Broadway play, which, in those huge theaters, is so distancing in comparison. Evangelina and I have both been so busy — me with dancing and writing and working, and she with her new marriage and her and Michael’s decision to buy some property upstate and build their first house (!), that we haven’t seen each other in nearly a year. But, as with all close friends, the minute you plop down next to each other on the sofa with a glass of wine and start yapping away, it’s like you just saw each other!
I hope everyone had a nice day off today in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King. I didn’t have to go into the office, but I brought some work home, which makes me feel a bit guilty, being from the Evan Mecham state and all… But, at least I only read the transcript from my next case’s Voir Dire (Jury Selection), which I don’t see so much as work: it’s one of my favorite parts of the trial since it’s where I get to “meet” all the different kinds of New Yorkers who are considered for selection on my client’s jury. Anyway, WordPress blogs don’t take kindly to YouTube embeddings, so I’m linking to Doug Fox’s post today, for The Speech!