Thursday, November 25, 2010

How does a heated tale of winter stay warm after 75 years?

Sam Cordes plays Ralph

When Clifford Odets’ play Awake and Sing opened in New York, the yet-to-be-named Great Depression was six years old. When the play opened last week on Main Street Kansas City at the MET, the atmosphere and timing felt timeless. The reviews are in; one here by Robert Trussell and another here by Libby Hanssen nicely summarize the performances. Beware of the spoilers. This is not a review.

Art of its time, created in the time and place has a way of capturing a time when done well. Art of a certain time can become a museum piece; placed under glass, air tight, preserved as a remembrance Often an otherwise “period piece” makes connections with the present tense of life. Richard Yates’ novel (and the film) Revolutionary road grabbed me like that; on one level pulling me back in time to the time of my parents’ 1950s with a subsequent quick reeling in to today. I’m not sure how that happens.

Our present tense may seem strained and unsettled. Cheerleaders cheer for swagger and better days; a diminished pot of revenue has more salivating advisors, consultants pointing to their purse. Uncertain times. With the uncertainty, hints of fear and loathing.

Yet, there’s a great deal for which to be thankful on this Thanksgiving Day. Make a list right after you start that holiday gift list The choices for entertainment, a bounty this long-ish weekend. You may desire to escape via retail wandering and a fun film; a chance to travel outside the reality of yourself a bit. Stop by one of our museums. Show the out-of-town friends and family those warm magical Plaza lights, why dontchya.

But if you have an inkling to stare reality straight in the eye, block out a few hours; awake and sing and “…do what is in your heart and carry in yourself a revolution”. Timeless art makes you feel…timeless.

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