I was saddened to read yesterday about the death of Lanford Wilson, one of the true playwrighting legends. Though I’ve seen “Fifth of July” and “Burn This,” I’m hopeful to someday see a production of “Hot L Baltimore,” the play that really put him on the map as I remember it. Though I think my review at the time was a little harsh, I have fond memories of Barksdale’s production of “Fifth” five or six years ago. It starred some of my favorite Richmond actors, including Chris Evans as the lead character’s lover. Not the Captain America Chris Evans though, just so there’s no confusion.
It’s been hard to get conversation rolling here on the blog as of late. Beyond the general down-turn in blog interest -- or some particularly boring posts from me -- I’m thinking it may be because I’m too often asking “big questions” about the nature of theater and the purpose of criticism and such. So, in an effort to get comments – any comment! – I’m going to try a simple question. I’m going to be taking a quick jaunt to NYC next Thursday and I want to see a show. As I do every time I’m planning a trip to Manhattan, I’m struggling with the choices. Should I get a nose-bleed seat to “Spiderman” just to see exactly how awful it is? Should I see something fresh and new that most people haven’t seen yet (“Priscilla”)? Or how about an old classic that I'm embarrased to say I've never seen (“Phantom”) or a newer not-quite-classic that I might be able to get great seats for (“Adams Family”)? Then there’s the possibility to see an awesome actor starring in a smallish vehicle off-Broadway (Andre Braugher in “The Whipping Man”).
What would YOU do if you were popping up to New York just for a day at this specific moment in time? What show are you itching to see and why? I’m interested in your thoughts, of course, but also, I need your help!