Back last night from New York; no sooner were we in the door when the dog started pestering me for his own book deal. Actually, Buster will be more than sufficiently happy when his rambunctious cousin Boomer finally goes home this week to his own daddies after a month's visit.
New York was swell, as were all three plays we saw. The now-closed (and badly-named; don't know if there's a connection) Souvenir, about the eccentric diva Florence Foster Jenkins, was great fun on its own, and far more insightful about music than the drag-queeny Master Class, but gained extra pizzazz with the presence in the audience of great singer Marilyn Horne, sitting right in front of me. We even exchanged words, she apologizing if her coat was in my way, me offering to kiss its hem (well, actually me just replying that it wasn't a problem). I didn't find the new production of Sweeney Todd as revelatory as touted, but Patti LuPone was awfully good as a sexed-up Mrs. Lovett, and if the device of having the actors double as the orchestra (Patti on tuba and triangle) wasn't as resonant as it was apparently meant to be, neither was it as annoying as it could have been. You kind of forget that they're doing it, which I suppose is testimony to its effectiveness (hey! Who wants to start a list of Children's Books That Are Too Darned Gimmicky For Their Own Damned Good?). About Doubt, no doubts. Okay, one: the only truly examined character is the lead, Sister Aloysius, and the other three are less dimensional, but Richard reminded me that even Shakespeare is filled with foils. And the play easily bats big, cosmic questions into the air while still remaining a riveting and convincing realistic drama. It also has a peculiar genius in the way it never resolves the plot's central question--did a priest molest a child?--but is still completely satisfying. We saw Cherry Jones in her last performance as Sister Aloysius, and she was both mesmerizing and funny as hell, um, sorry, Sister.