Theatre Day: Fun Home and Eclipsed

Last weekend, one of my Boston cousins came to visit and we had a Theatre Day. We saw the matinee of Fun Home, which was as amazing and touching as everyone said.

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The songs and the singing were great and I’m disappointed that the soundtrack isn’t on Apple Music. Rebecca Luker (Helen) was in especially fine voice and Gabriella Pizzolo is an amazingly bright and vivid Small Alison.

We ate too much BBQ at Virgil’s and then saw the evening performance of Eclipsed. I had been hesitant about this because it sounded depressing: Liberian women held captive by rebel warlords. It was actually devastating but so good. Beautifully written by Danai Gurira, the play completely involves you in its survival strategy dilemmas. The terrific cast includes Oscar winner Lupita Nyong’o, who was excellent, but everyone was excellent. I find myself still thinking about the play days later. I would see it again.

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We got excellent seats for both shows through TDF so the theatre gods were definitely smiling on us. I feel like this one day justified my $30 yearly membership.

Images in this post were stolen from reviews on the internet. Contact me if you are an outraged photo copyright holder and I will remove it. 

The Rose Kennedy play

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Kathleen Chalfant as Rose Kennedy

I saw Rose on December 9th at the last Wednesday matinee at the Clurman Theater. Kathleen Chalfant was commanding as the stern matriarch of the Kennedys. In this one-woman show written by Kennedy biographer Laurence Leamer, the most moving sections dealt with the daughters. Rose understands their problems but mostly thinks they should suck it up. No one saved her from her problems and she feels others should accept, as she has, that women have less autonomy in the family and in society.  While there’s no denying the suffering of a woman who lost several children to untimely violent deaths, the brave stoicism of Rose makes for a rather static play.

The play’s heartbreaking turn is Rose’s quietly gruesome and pathetic narration of her daughter Rosemary’s lobotomy. It was really a privilege to see Chalfant working in such an intimate theater with such emotional material. She is a powerful actress and the main reason I saw this.