The freedom to be cruel is one of journalism’s uncontested privileges, and the renderings of subjects as if they were characters in bad novels is one of its widely accepted conventions.
Culture consumption. Some production.
Jocelyn has chopped black hair that looks permanently wet, and twelve ear piercings that I gave her with a pointed earring, not using ice. She has a beautiful half-Chinese face. It makes a difference.
Rhea from Jennifer Egan’s novel A Visit From The Goon Squad
One of the advantages of moving back to New York is the access to all the great plays on Broadway and off-Broadway. I missed Alan Rickman’s short run at the BAM so I knew that I needed to be front and center to see him on the boards for the Broadway debut of Seminar. Most folks will remember him from Harry Potter but he already won my heart way back in the day with Truly, Madly, Deeply. Given my liberal-arts bereft education, I probably would not have discovered Pablo Neruda without it. So off to the previews I went in my black lace dress.
Alan Rickman did not disappoint - I came away entranced by not only his performance but by the perfect gem of a comedy that I had seen onstage. The ensemble was stellar, their deliveries on note, and every line sang true. I wonder if I am so exuberant about this play because I can laugh self-consciously at all the workshop-critique and Yaddo shop talk. I wonder if I only laugh because it hits too close to home, what with the local theatre crowd gasping at the audacity of an $800 a month rent-controlled apartment on the Upper West Side with river views?
There is no way to separate the personal from this review so I will only say that Theresa Rebeck has written a truly wonderful comedic play that snaps and pops in all the right places and that you should go see. Too often I have gone to plays and appreciated the individual performances, and not the narrative. Something always seem to be missing to make the entire play a cohesive experience. You know that feeling you get in a movie where you think, this should have ended ten minutes, fifteen minutes ago? Well, there was none of that here. SEMINAR is a crackling play that is perfectly paced. I went with all intentions of getting Alan Rickman’s autograph and came away wanting to meet Theresa Rebeck instead. To pick her brain and perhaps magically absorb some of her writing magic. I hope she gets a Tony for this.