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Christopher Sears

Gently Down the Stream

April 17, 2017

In between the scenes between the two men in Beau’s living room, Rufus records Beau’s reminiscences of his life and times. In this way, Sherman gives us a review of what things were like for gay men from 1940 up to the present, from the stories Beau had been told about the war years to his own personal and painful experiences from 1960 on. Beau’s memories include gay life in New Orleans, New York, San Francisco, Paris and London and cover police brutality and the rise of AIDS. Besides being flattered to be asked to tell his story, Beau also want to pass on his experiences to the next generation who have had its easier. While the play becomes schematic alternating scenes between the two, Fierstein is so convincing in these authentic but surprising tales of the past that it never becomes simply a device. [more]

Stupid Fu**ing Bird

April 1, 2016

Posner has turned Chekhov’s four-act play into two-part meta-theater: not only do the actors acknowledge the audience and solicit our participation, but they each have a monologue addressed directly to us. The actors sit around the stage when they are not in a scene, almost like they are attending a rehearsal. Aside from the obvious use of contemporary American vernacular, Posner has fun with iconic Chekhov lines that have grown stale. When asked why she always wears black, Mosh at first says, “Black is slimming,” before giving her original answer (“I’m in mourning for my life.”) He has changed Mosh and Dev’s story, giving them a different ending. While Chekhov’s Konstantin talks of the theater needing new forms, Posner’s version is the very new form that was predicted all those years ago. Finally, Posner has added an epilogue in which the actors address the audience one by one and give us a new take on the original ending. [more]