Monday, August 02, 2004

Dry Manhattan

I spent most of my time in New York feeling like I was trapped in either Seinfeld, Friends, or Sex and the City. This proved a fun exercise. I walked through Central Park and imagined Phoebe running with flailing arms, passed several pizza joints with varying Ray's-related names and recalled Kramer getting lost at First and First and calling it "the nexus of the universe," and thought of Carrie Bradshaw whenever I saw a woman wearing Manolo Blahniks. I got to see Madison Square Garden, the Chrysler Building, the lions at the New York Public Library, and Times Square. It wasn't a comprehensive visit, in other words, but I saw enough to feel like I've at least been there.

I also saw Peter Krause on the second night of the revival of Arthur Miller's After the Fall. The play is very interesting, with flashbacks within the main character's mind taking place on stage and a single set used throughout despite multiple location changes. The way these effects were handled alone made the experience worthwhile. Carla Gugino--TV's short-lived Karen Sisco--stole the show as Maggie, a Marilyn-esque character, and Jessica Hecht--Carol's lover Susan on Friends--was excellent as Krause's first wife. Krause himself was shaky at the start, and generally delivered stilted soliloquies, but amid the action of the play his dialogue was convincing and compelling, despite--or perhaps because of--several moments that seemed to channel his work as Nate on Six Feet Under. This wasn't the best play I've ever seen, but it was definitely worth seeing. Next time I'm in New York, though, I'll get tickets to one of the big, popular, rousing shows; the fact that I didn't see Aida or Wicked or even The Lion King will probably eat at me a bit when I look back on this trip, even if I did feel compelled to watch the convention my first two nights in town.

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