Friday, December 2, 2011

On the town

Last week my best friend was in town visiting so I got to take in some culture. Including:

1. Teresa, Rosemary and I saw the play Venus in Fur, written by David Ives and starring the extraordinary Nina Arianda. Amazing. This is one of those rare instances when I agree with all the raves even though they emanate from bourgeois sources. Well, not quite, for I've discovered, since seeing it and upon delving further into the critical commentary, that while the adoration of Arianda is unanimous opinion is more divided on the play itself, and furthermore that there are, it seems, varied interpretations of what it all means, what it's about, most of all what's up with that ending. Hmm. So methinks the bourgeois sources have screwed up here after all. Arianda in all her glory aside, the play itself is, yuk yuk inside joke you'll only get if you've seen it, divine. Brilliant writing that had me on the edge of my seat straining to catch every word only to be whipsawed about this way and that by them up to the very last moment, and that moment is breathtakingly perfect. Hilarious too, as well as discomfiting in a good way.

Playwriting strikes me, every time I get to see a production, as a mysterious art. I always come out wishing I could do it but convinced that I haven't a clue about how to try. Bravo to David Ives and, yes, to the mighty Aphrodite herself, Nina Arianda.

2. Spent an hour or so later that evening at a grand old Village gay dive piano bar with a grand old name, Marie's Crisis Café. Fun, except for our chagrin at the group of young men who seemed to know only tunes from Disney musicals. Egads! This was the first time I've ever been there when I couldn't join in on the singing, for Rodgers, Hart, Hammerstein, Sondheim, Bernstein, Gershwin, Porter and all that lot were, sadly, not in the house.

3. I took Rosemary to the Queens Museum for a perambulation around the Panorama of the City of New York. It is a glorious thing. And she permitted me to be in my glory, pointing here and there orienting her, showing off my fabulous town.

4. We went to the Brooklyn Museum, where we were very satisfied with the new exhibit Hide/Seek: Difference and Desire in American Portraiture. AKA The Gay Show. Really interesting on many levels.

Now my sister- and brother-in-law are in town from Texas and after they come from Radio City Musical Hall where they're seeing the Rockettes do their holiday thing, we're meeting for a sushi dinner at one of the best Japanese restaurants in the city. Phew! Ain't I got fun?