Saturday, March 27, 2004

The sojourn in New York was out of this world! I relished every minute and felt every bit the impressionable kid (boundless energy included) during the entire trip. I don't know when I've had more fun. During the course of the weekend, I'm going to be posting details of the highlights. Please note: I'm going to keep adding to this entry, so when you drop by later for a visit, scroll down to get the latest additions.

We managed to get tickets to the Broadway opening of "Twentieth Century," starring Alec Baldwin and Ann Heche, a fun and glitzy 1930s screwball comedy. The presentation was flawless, but I wondered why anyone bothered to resurrect this particular play. It was entertaining and funny, but was not great theater, not by any means. Its redeeming feature was its "cuteness." Ann Heche's performance was inspired, Baldwin's was adequate, but the rest of the performers were just barely passable.

The other play we saw was an Off Broadway production, "The Journals of Mihail Sebastian," a one-man play based on Journal 1935-1944: The Fascist Years, the World War II journals of Romanian Jewish writer Sebastian, first published in an English translation in 1996. Stephen Kunken was first-rate in the role of Sebastian, but I felt he tried too hard to bring the diary to life, leaving the performance seeming a bit forced and unnatural at times. But I must confess I'm being terribly picky here because it did not diminish the delivery of the play's message. The Theater at 45th Street is tiny and run down, but dignified despite its worn elbows. The house was nearly full, creating a warm, intimate encounter between audience and performer.

I ended up spending two mornings at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. I had intended to visit the Guggenheim on Wednesday morning, but since almost the entire museum's regular collection was not on view due to a special exhibition on Minimalism, I opted for more time browsing through the Met. One of the mornings Ken accompanied me, and although he is not always an art enthusiast, he had a good time, I think, especially because he loves the Impressionists and the Met has a large collection of their work. The highlight of my visits were the early-twentieth-century American paintings housed on the first floor.


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