Sunday, February 03, 2008

Outer Borough City

Today (well, yesterday at this point) was all about Brooklyn. After easing into the day after a late long night with coffee a big breakfast of roast beef, potatoes and eggs, I went out to the BAM Harvey Theater for Beckett's Happy Days, directed by Deborah Warner, starring Fiona Shaw. Holy shit. Not many shows live up to the kind of hype that this show got from the press, but I'm happy to say that this one did. "Happy" doesn't really cut it, in spite of the title - it's something beyond happy, something closer to "ecstatic", because the show was transcendent. Really. One of the greatest writers in the history of the language at the height of his powers, interpreted by one of the great actors of our time in a collaboration with a director that appears to be as solid as there is out there (The Waste Land, Medea, and now this - good as gold, y'all). Funny, poignant, brilliant... transcendent. Wish I could say the show "is" transcendent, but unfortunately it closes today, so unless you're coincidentally prepared or really motivated (and don't care about the Superbowl at all), well... she'll be back with another show one of these days.

Afterwards I went to a little tiny restaurant called Pequena, aptly enough. Really delicious fish tacos and rice & beans; righteous peeps working the floor; perfectly adequate margarita; fun place - you should go.

Then I took a walk through Ft. Greene and Clinton Hill in the crisp chilly evening. Ended up at Tillie's, a rad little coffee shop - kinda crowded at first: had to share a table with a grumpy-ish guy for a while, but it mellowed out before long, and I spent a good hour or so there. No web site for this place as far as I know, but they played the first Clash album, so that should count for something.

Next it was over to the BAM main space for the Brooklyn Philharmonic performing John Corigliano's Pied Piper Fantasy with some world premier staging, and Berlioz's Symphonie Fantastique. Excellent. Not thrilled with the way they handled the post-concert talkback/new composers' concert in the Cafe - they failed utterly even to try to make it clear to us that the Cafe concert was apt to fill up and that the one way to guarantee NOT getting in was to hang around for the Q & A. Super annoying. So not only downtown venues participate in this kind of behavior. Still, good performances of two good pieces.

All hail Brooklyn. Again.

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