After what seemed like an endless string of trips to everywhere imaginable, I find myself in New York City once more, a homecoming that reminds me of G.K. Chesterton’s remark that “going right round the world is the shortest way to where you are already.” I don’t expect to see the inside of another airplane until I go home for the holidays, and that suits me fine.
When Harry Truman returned home to Missouri after a seven-year stint in the White House, a reporter asked him what he planned to do first. “Take the grips [i.e., suitcases] up to the attic,” he replied. Like Truman, I tossed my trusty rolling tote in the closet on Saturday afternoon, but then I headed straight back out the door. As I mentioned last week, I knew I’d have to fling myself into a marathon of plays and performances the moment I hit the city limits, and the only thing that made it possible for me to face that prospect with reasonable equanimity was the probable quality of the shows I’d be seeing.
On Saturday, for example, Maccers
and I caught a preview of Voyage, the first installment of the American premiere of The Coast of Utopia, Tom Stoppard’s trilogy of plays about the nineteenth-century Russian intellectuals who catapulted their country out of one tyranny and into another. The coming of The Coast of Utopia to the Vivian Beaumont Theater is by definition a major event, not only because we see so little of Stoppard’s work on Broadway (it’s been five-and-a-half years since a new Stoppard play was last performed there) but because this production is crawling with familiar faces (Billy Crudup, Jennifer Ehle, Ethan Hawke, Amy Irving, Br