Saturday, August 31, 2013

Consider The Lobster, Art Garfunkel.

Last night Art Garfunkel had what he calls “a rehearsal” in an intimate (300 sold-out seats) performance space in West Hartford, Connecticut.  The first few moments after he walked onstage and sat down next to his guitarist/accompaniment were tense. The hush betrayed our expectation of the worst, considering his terrifying loss of voice and recent struggle to regain it.  He launched into an almost whispered delivery of “April Come She Will” and suddenly the entire room was in his hands and remained there throughout the evening, as he delivered some classic Simon and Garfunkel songs, read us some of his soon to be published poetry, talked about the good fortune of his musical life, the joys of his married life and parenthood, and graciously took questions from the audience.

Monday, August 12, 2013

QNY Recommends Seth Tucker's "Our Kiki, A Gay Farce"

Last night, we went downtown to see Seth Tucker’s “Our Kiki, A Gay Farce.” This is Tucker’s first full-length play and his first go at directing a full production. I am happy to report that he has delivered a delightful mid-summer romp, perfectly illustrating the value of the New York International Fringe Festival (Aug 9-25, 2013, as a foot in the door for promising writers who, with continued luck, will deliver more and better.

“Our Kiki, A Gay Farce” ( is full of laughs and fine performances. I didn’t at all mind that the premise—a gay couple’s need to involve a female friend in a sham wedding in order to secure a green card— is outdated given the recent fall of DOMA. Funny is funny, and I hope Mr. Tucker understands the value of this compliment when I say that he may, with repeated ups at bat, learn to knock his laughs out of the park just like the venerable Charles Busch in whose lineage he may find himself.

We are sometimes tempted to be dismissive of farce, thinking that it’s what writers deliver when they drink rather than think, but structuring a farce correctly ain’t easy. Tucker has the comic instincts needed to dole out the situations and the complications with smooth control. He hooks us happily into the craziness that results when a snow storm prolongs an immigration official’s visit to the apartment shared by the gay couple hoping to remain intact (via the green card) and their friends, a complicit straight couple.  Tucker’s farce follows the classic formula so well that I fully expected the final moments to be delivered in rhyming couplets.