Edward Albee is back on Broadway. “Seascape” won a Pulitzer Prize in 1975 but flopped at the box office (it ran for only 63 performances). Now Lincoln Center Theater is putting on a revival directed by Mark Lamos and playing for six weeks at the Booth Theatre, Broadway, “The Light in the Piazza” having tied up the company’s own Vivian Beaumont Theater for an unexpectedly long run. Though “Seascape” is no masterpiece, it’s being performed in a masterly way, and you could do a lot worse than to spend an evening watching Frances Sternhagen and George Grizzard make magic out of it.
Ms. Sternhagen and Mr. Grizzard play Nancy and Charlie, a married couple on the far side of middle age who can’t agree on what to do with the rest of their lives (she longs to comb the beaches of the world, he wants to settle down in one place and take it easy). As they sit on an unidentified beach and bicker about their future, they are unexpectedly accosted by Sarah and Leslie (Elizabeth Marvel and Frederick Weller), a pair of giant talking lizards who, feeling a vaguely uneasy sense of “not belonging anymore,” have crawled out of the ocean to see how the other half lives….
What do you think of when you think of Baltimore? My list would include H.L. Mencken, crab cakes, Camden Yards, John Waters, “The Wire” and the Matisses at the Baltimore Museum of Art–but not live theater. At least not until last Saturday, when I paid my very first visit to Centerstage and saw a performance of No
Archives for November 25, 2005
Here’s a sneak preview of my next “Sightings” column, which will be published in Saturday’s Wall Street Journal:
What do the music of Aaron Copland, the dances of Paul Taylor, the paintings of Stuart Davis and the novels of Willa Cather have in common? They’re all American–and all-American. You can’t listen to five bars of “Appalachian Spring,” or read a paragraph of “My
– My brother just filed for re-election to the city council of Smalltown, U.S.A. He’s running unopposed. I don’t know what you think, but I think that’s just about as cool as it gets.
– National Review Online asked several of the magazine’s longtime contributors, myself included, to recommend books, both new and old, for Christmas gifts. Go here and scroll down to see my suggestions.
To be sure, the one thing a new friend can never do for you is say I knew you when, and I find it rather sad that there are so few people in my life who can speak those words. None of my closest friends in Manhattan knew me when: we didn’t meet until after I’d figured out who I was and what I wanted to become. On the other hand, the friends of our youth present their own problems. They are part of the train of memories that we all pull behind us, the one that grows longer with each passing day, and for that reason harder to pull….
(If it’s new to you, read the whole thing here.)
– Eugene O’Neill’s total earnings in 1922, the year in which The Hairy Ape and Anna Christie were both running on Broadway: $44,000
– The same amount in today’s dollars, courtesy of Inflation Calculator: $455,461.84
(Source: Library of America, Eugene O’Neill: Complete Plays)
“Excess on occasion is exhilarating. It prevents moderation from acquiring the deadening effect of habit.”
W. Somerset Maugham, The Summing Up