Friday, September 24, 2010

Finally Fall

Though the temperature may deceive you, it is finally fall, my favorite season. The leaves are turning color, the nights become cooler, and the vacation lull evaporates. Fall is my season, the time I feel freshest, when all is possible, probably due to all those years in school. It is the time to start getting all the things you meant to do in 2010 (or whatever year) done before the year ends. Being a fall baby, I feel in my element, in my prime, secure at my current age and ready to enter the next year. As we start to pull out the sweaters and zip-ups, we look towards approaching holidays, festivities, and family gatherings. Fall is time to harvest, to celebrate, to find meaning in our accomplishments and begin storing up for next year.

Of special note to myself (and many of you out there), fall is also the official start of the season's interesting plays and movies. Kicked off by Fashion Week and all the buzz it has to offer, we can wave to bye-bye to the mostly disappointing summer blockbusters, special effects goliaths relying more on sound and editing than story or acting. Instead of Big Stars staring Big Movies (aka Eat Pray Love), we get smaller films with actors stretching their muscles and bigger films making riskier moves, hoping to earn some Oscar buzz. The theatre all but hibernates once the Tony nominations have gone out, this summer's exception being Bernadette Peters and Elaine Strich's jumping into A Little Night Music and Al Pacino's Shakespeare in the Park performance (The Merchant of Venice - which is headed to Broadway this fall). Television returns from its hiatus, bringing old favorites, promising an even more exciting season, and new offerings, hoping to make the cut. Thanks to, I have already been enjoying my share of Glee, Nurse Jackie, 30 Rock, and Gossip Girl. Yes, as the climate changes, we return from our summer adventures, put away the white shoes, and nimbly outfitted in as many layers as the requires, begin to head to theaters, both for movies and plays aplenty. Last night, I ventured over to Playwright's Horizon on West 42nd St to catch one of their newest offerings, It Must Be Him. Starring a getting-older Peter Scolari, the play was a bit wonky, awkward, short in minutes but packed with a lot of good intentions. While I could try to describe or tell you what it's about it, in short, it's not really that kind of piece. Entertaining, it certainly was and the perfect play of which to have free tickets (thank you Quinto's trendy job). WhatI can say is that it's about a middle-aged gay man getting older, struggling for love and success, but then, that is so many plays that have "come out" in recent years. Now, what I am dying to see is Playwright Horizon's other offering Me, Myself, and I, the new work by theatre icon Edward Albee. Starring Elizabeth Ashley, whom if memory serves me right was in August" Osage County when I saw it, the play is his usually absurd story about a set identical twins each named Otto and their forgetful parents. Im ready. In all honesty, if the plot of the play was "Edward Albee drinks a cup of coffee," I'd be there. Moving a couple blocks east to the Broadway neighborhood, a lot of exciting offering are popping up there as well. The revival of Noël Coward's Brief Encounter, transferred from an Off-Broadway turn downtown, promises to sparkle, as does Laura Linney's return to Time Stands Still (which I missed last season). The mammoth Spider Man musical will finally open, come November. Let us hope that what happens onstage is half as exciting as the musical's troubled journey to Broadway, full of delays, big spending, broken promises, and big star pullouts (thanks for nothing Alan Cumming). For Big Stars in Big Plays, there's Vanessa Redgrave and James Earl Jones in Driving Miss Daisy and Cherry Jones in Mrs. Warren's Profession, both with the potential to Most Likely Put You to Sleep. What I'm most excited about is Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown, the new musical based on the Pedro Almodóvar film and starring yours and my favorite Patti LuPone, alongside Sherie Renee Scott, Laura Benanti, Brian Stokes Mitchell, and a slew of other talent. If this one flops, I'm going to start watching Nascar. In movies, there'sThe Town, with my new friend Gossip Girl's Blake Lively, Easy A, this summer'sInception (which I still need to see), Devil, which I saw this week, and a pair of Facebook-tinged movies The Social Network and Catfish. While one chronicles the origins and rise of Facebook, the other serves as a cautionary tale to the excesses of Facebook. Both have been the buzz of the New York papers and advertisements and have certainly made the must-see list. Changing gears, a pair of romance-laced movies, The Romantics and Woody Allen's You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger promise to amuse and titillate (though I'm vying for Stranger to be the better of the two). Of course, this is all the tip of the iceberg (or shall we hope). As the weather continues to cool and the first chances of snow rear their ugly heads, the Oscar and Tony races will be in full swing, cranking out would-be hits and flops. Let's hope that we the audience, are again on the winning side. While summer is for play and activity, fall is feasting, something I plan to do well into the New Year.

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