ROBERT LIEBOWITZ AND THE PARABLE OF THREE
AMY M. FRATEO, guest reviewer
Everybody’s a playwright. Every day there are new works appearing in festivals and black box theaters throughout New York – everything from 10-minute quickies to two hour tomes. That why it was gratifying to see a revival of some excellent works from the heyday of OOB.
This group of works was all written by Robert Liebowitz, a member of the off-off Broadway circuit for decades.
The series went backward like the Sondheim musical cult favorite, Merrily We Roll Along, kinda-sorta showing us who we are and why we are.
The first play, Seven Scenes of Grande Grande Blah Blah Blah, written just a few years ago, featured Kevin Hauver as a beaten-back administrator with nothing to look forward to except the mortality of a dear friend (maybe something more) and Molly Callahan as a snarky millennial with no patience for him. Mario Claudio brought up the rear as a coffee house server with miseries of his own. The meat of the matter was good, showing us a preamble of what the new world looks like to old people, with Callahan handing us the worst of the new generation and Hauver utilizing everything from brains to brawn to show her the error of her – and undoubtedly his – ways. The ironic use of seduction was obviously there to show societal ignorance as Callahan’s character announces early on that she is a lesbian. Joe Pitzvalty could have done more with staging especially the very funny and eloquent Claudio, whose character had the ability to move much more.
Bus Ride Home, a little longer and a little older (the 90s) gave us Cathy Noonan-Sturges and Ken Coughlin as a disenfranchised working class pair on their way from the ritual of going to Atlantic City. Pair and not couple as they are not married … to each other. The concept of an “affair of need,” common in many dramas these days (even British drama like Call the Midwife), is depicted with Coughlin quite engrossing as a civil servant in a life change. The surprise ending totally reversed the idea that Noonan-Sturges was the villain of the piece. Directed by Ioan Ardelian, the show maintained a dark slow pace that made really feel like we, too, were caught on this endless bus ride home.
Coulda Woulda Shoulda, obviously the main attraction was a powerful play about the people on the fringe and at OTB – a now extinct way of getting your gambling fix in NYC. The play – staged in noir no nonsense by Allan Smithee – gave us the last hours of the life of Allie Neiterman; played by TJ Jenkins, with engrossing desperation, as a once-high-roller, now nobody, who, with his slow-witted partner, Bobo, played with smile-inducing childlike detail by Ted Montuori, try for that last lucky win. The play, an obvious star vehicle for several character actors, played like a old-fashioned sermon on the mount with lines that run the gamut between smart cliché and deep parable.
The play, set in 1985, when connected to the others shows us the aging of the American dream and what it looks like today.
Tommy Sturges insinuated the concept of unwitting narrator well but the playwright should have altered the ethnicity of the role to fit Sturges own culture; not so with the flawlessly authentic Anthony J. Gallo, who moved, motioned, and mannered himself into a role that could have been written for him – down to the clever injection of Italian language toward the finale. The same can be said for the commanding Michael Ruocco, truly superb as the next level of degenerate gambler. He, too, gave us neighborhood guy in all its provincial detail. His inner world was all there in his eyes and was a strong juxtaposition to his goonish demeanor.
Serving as the big number was Jay Michaels as the monster-in-a-pinstripe suit, loan shark Barney Cutley. Michaels’ level of acting was truly powerhouse with a demonic first appearance that silenced the unwitting crowd – both on stage and in the audience – and then a tortured second appearance provoking the tragic finale where you saw a back-story in nothing more than his back. Michaels gave us a “Negan-esque” portrayal (see the Walking Dead to know what this means) with a sense of fulfillment at being the black-hat in this western.
Robert Liebowitz writes excellent dialogue and creates powerful and quite unique situations. Allan Smithee missed the mark by putting so much of the action in obstructed areas and let lots of sitting happen. Only Michaels seemed to utilize the well-planned set and stage.
Of the three parables this evening, Coulda Woulda Shoulda, stands as one for the ages. Something that should be seen more and more. Ironically, maybe the other two will also, when we become a period piece like the 80s is now. Regardless, the credible complement of character actors gave us a evening of real art and performance.
On Film: THE WATCHTOWER
Allan Johnston, Guest Reviewer
Crime and criminals on television and film are always attractive, daring, even sexy. In other words … fictionalized. However, auteur Steve Silver has given us a riveting, unapologetic tome about what it really means to be a criminal.
The Watchtower, a new feature film, written, directed, and starring Mr. Silver (from his original play), is not a vanity piece as one might imagine since much of the spotlight is focused his way.
What we have a fascinating character study lensed in an old-fashioned style giving us a harder look. A brilliant touch when one meets the denizens of Hell’s Kitchen, in the 80s.
The premise is familiar. We are there at the end of an era. We see Irish and Italian mobsters trying to hold onto a piece of territory the only way they know how, through the eyes of one of their own – who’s not so sure he wants to be there.
And that is the unique part.
This film explores those who were involved in “that thing” … and why. You leave the theatre with a new understanding of what people needed to do to survive then … and even now.
It’s not surprising the level of power Silver himself brought to the role as one feels a sense of autobiography coming off his tense portrayal of of an Irish hood grieving over the effect this life has had on his family. It’s refreshing to see an ensemble share this level of power. Notables include D.J.Sharp, absolutely spot-on as a Russian immigrant who comes to America to be a success … and as a loan shark … he is; Thomas J. Kane as the Irish mob leader – possessing all the needed grit but with excellent acting chops; Ken Coughlin as a Mafia Don who understands what it means to be a Roman Emperor; Caroline Smith, understated as Tommy’s long-suffering wife; and Laurie Rae Waugh, engrossing as Tommy’s sister-in-law by day and a cold-blooded assassin by night.
Watchtower initiates a program under Silver’s command dedicated to putting powerful off-off Broadway plays on film.
If they’re all as good as this one, then we may see history being made.
Ms. Smith and Mr. Silver in the original stage production of The Watchtower.
THE TEMPEST – PRESENTED BY IDENTITY THEATER
REVIEWED BY ROBERT LIEBOWITZ
REMEMBRANCE DAY had all the ingredients to create a wonderful, tasty salad of theater.
Remembrance Day, a one-woman show written and performed by June Ballinger at the 13th St. Repertory Theater. Had a versatile performer, a decent script, and a compelling unique story; a firsthand narrative about a woman who in the bowels of Great Britain secretly worked on Colossus, a gigantic computer whose sole mission was to break the Nazi code and save the world from speaking German during WW II.
Director Janice Goldberg, however used a risky stage device that doesn’t always work – Pantomime.
Every single reference in the text that could be accompanied by a physical invisible gesture WAS accompanied. The frequency of this technique wound up looking foolish more often than not. Truly a shame as the playwright/performer was superb and deserved so much more.
Ioan Ardelean serves as guest director for one of the productions in THREE BITES OF THE APPLE: A revival of Robert Liebowitz’ canon of works. “he’s fascinating” says Ken Coughlin, one of Ardelean’s actors. Fascinating is the right word. it will be interesting to see how his European sensibilities enhance Liebowitz’ hard-bitten NY prose.
WHY WATER FALLS Commercial CLICK HERE
[Excerpted from LEIGH CURRAN: AN OVERVIEW]
I’ve spent my life in the Arts and while I started out as an actress I soon added playwriting and later founded the The Virginia Avenue Project a non-profit using long term, one-on-one arts mentoring to give children growing up under difficult circumstances the skills to think creatively, critically and courageously about life goals and choices. Project kids join at age six and stay through high school working alongside caring, adult mentors throughout their growing years. The Project’s longtime community partner is the Santa Monica Police Activities League in Santa Monica, California. I was the Artistic Director from 1991-2013.
I’m also the author of three full length plays: The Lunch Girls (finalist for the Susan Smith Blackburn Award; world premiere at the Long Wharf Theatre, Arvin Brown, dir.; Off Broadway at the Grove Street Theatre , Stuart Ross, dir.); Alterations (Off Broadway at the WPA Theatre, Austin Pendleton, dir.; world premiere at the Whole Theatre Company, Olympia Dukakis, dir.) and Walking the Blonde (world premiere Off Broadway at Circle Rep, Paul Benedict, dir; and Off Broadway at La Mama, Leonard Foglia, dir.) The Lunch Girls and Alterations are published by Samuel French.
My first novel, Going Nowhere Sideways, was published in 1999 by Fithian Press and was highly praised by Publishers Weekly, Spillway, and Inscriptions Magazines and is available on Amazon.com and other on-line bookstores. It is a coming of middle age story that traces one woman’s evolution from Woodstock in 1969 to the demolition of the Berlin Wall in 1989. My poetry has appeared in Slant: A Journal for Poetry, Onthebus, The Bark, Spillway, and Rattle Magazines as well as in the on-line e-zine, The Junkyard.
As an actress, I’ve performed on, off and way off Broadway working with the likes of Kathy Bates, Arthur Penn, Paul Benedict and George Abbott. In Los Angeles I appeared in my own play, Walking the Blonde and in the LA Women’s Shakespeare Company’s acclaimed productions of Romeo and Juliet, Othello and Measure for Measure. TV/Film credits include: West Wing, Judging Amy,Once and Again, LA Law and Reds.
I was born in 1943 and grew up in California and Connecticut. My father taught at the Thacher School in Ojai, California where my mother, younger brother and I spent the school year but come summer my father would load up our DeSoto station wagon and we’d drive across the country to Salisbury, CT where my father had a summer cabin – kerosene lamps, outhouses, well water and all. During the school year, my father taught French, Latin, Spanish and motor mechanics at Thacher. My mother, an actress/singer, performed with the Chekov Players in Upper Ojai until my father died in 1954 – at which point, my mother took over my father’s classes until the school could find his replacement.
I graduated from Santa Catalina School in 1961 when I was 17 and in 2001 received the school’s Distinguished Alumna Award for my work with the Virginia Avenue Project. In 1962, after a year of working odd jobs in Ojai that included taking care of the studio of noted ceramist and friend, Beatrice Wood and teaching arts and crafts to first graders at my first alma mater, Monica Ros School – I headed for New York City to begin my career in theatre.
From 1962-64 I attended the American Musical and Dramatic Academy. I studied acting with Sanford Meisner, Bill Esper and Robert Modica; dance with Hanya Holm and music appreciation with Lehman Engel. After I graduated I studied acting privately with Ludwig Donath and later at HB Studios with Uta Hagen.
To support my theatre habit, I waited on tables predominantly at the Gaslight Club – a key club similar to the Bunny Club but with a gay-nineties feel. Because I was tall and strong I was relegated to working lunches and because the club was in a brownstone, all the lunch girls carried heavy trays up and down flights of stairs while trying to look sexy in fishnet hose, scant costumes and six-inch heels. Ten years later, this experience which always felt disconnected from my intended life would become the inspiration for my first play, The Lunch Girls.
I got my Equity Card in 1968 when I was hired to be in the chorus and understudy Brenda Vaccaro in the Broadway musical, How Now, Dow Jones. Shortly thereafter I began making TV commercials and by the mid 70s had become one of the top on-camera commercial artists. Making commercials made it possible for me to explore lesser paying jobs like playwriting, alternative theatre and life in general.
In 1974, I met actor, Edward Herrmann. Shortly after we moved in together, I took up playwriting. I’d had no formal training as a writer but I had a good ear for dialogue and understood dramatic tension. Basically, I asked myself all the questions I’d ask myself when creating a character as an actress – what do I want and why is it so important I get it now as opposed to later? And if the characters had opposing Wants – there was plenty of room for conflict. In time I began to realize my characters would lead me to the story rather than the other way around. This was the adventurous part of writing – I never quite knew how things were going to turn out and, therefore, neither did the audience. And, in addition to writing parts for women that were meaty and off-beat – I also discovered that with writing, unlike acting, you don’t have to wait to be hired to be creative.
My first play, The Lunch Girls, was produced at the Long Wharf Theatre in 1979 under the direction of its Artistic Director, Arvin Brown. Throughout my playwriting career, I’ve been lucky to work with some wonderful directors in addition to Arvin – who taught me about play structure, timing, audience attention, etc. Some of my director/mentors are Austin Pendleton, Olympia Dukakis and the late Paul Benedict. Other influential mentors include playwright, Michael Weller; director, Dan Petrie and producer, Dorothea Petrie.
In 1978, Edward and I bought a house in Carmel, New York and were married in the fall of that year. In the country, I discovered my love for vegetable gardening and while that didn’t seem important at the time, it would become a major part of my life later on.
While Edward was enjoying considerable success in theatre, film and television, I wrote my second play, Alterations which was ultimately produced Off-Broadway at the WPA Theatre featuring Cynthia Nixon and Gretchen Cryer in the cast and Austin Pendleton as director.
Edward and I separated in 1986. I returned to New York City where I wrote and performed in my third play, Walking the Blonde. It had its world premiere at Circle Rep under the direction of Paul Benedict then The Barrow Group picked it up and produced it Off-Broadway at La Mama, directed by Leonard Foglia. During this period, I began exploring alternative theatre. I wrote and performed in my own pieces at PS122 and the Wow Cafe where I was fortunate to work with Lisa Kron and the Five Lesbian Brothers.
In 1988, I was invited to write a short play for the 52nd Street Project‘s One-on-One Program. In this program, a professional actor is teamed with a kid to perform in a short play written by a professional playwright. My actor was Paul McCrane and my kid was an eight-year-old boy from a neighborhood housing project. I was so taken with the experience I began volunteering for the Project as an actress, writer, collaborator, director, class mentor, stamp licker, whatever – because in my heart of hearts I sensed the 52nd Street Project was changing my life. The change became real when I was invited to learn how to teach kids to write plays. The process, called Playmaking, was created by Daniel Judah Sklar – it was creative, smart, loaded with integrity and as much fun for seasoned playwrights as it was for kids. At the end of the training, I knew I had to teach kids how to write plays and, for that matter, how to act in them and it was then I got the idea to replicate the 52nd Street Project in Los Angeles.
In 1991, newly divorced and feeling the wind at my back, I moved to Los Angeles to found the Virginia Avenue Project. At the time I knew nothing about non-profits and little more about kids. I was lucky to have the former Executive Director of the 52nd Street Project, Marsue Cumming, to guide me through the grant writing and set up process. Daniel Judah Sklar, my great mentor when it came to working with kids, flew to LA to get Playmaking and his advanced playwriting program for children, Replay, off the ground.
I started the Virginia Avenue Project in a leaky lean-to behind my house – a scrap of paper hanging over my desk with a phone number to call if I ever needed an Executive Director. When the Virginia Avenue Project’s first production, Strangers in Paradise, opened in April, 1992, I called the phone number and the fates brought me Kendis Heffley who became the Project’s Founding Executive Director. Kendis and I were opposite halves of a whole and great friends. We guided the Project through its first eight years adhering to the belief that who we were in the office would trickle down to our kids so if we wanted the Project to have legs we needed to practice what we preached.
During that time, I also starred in a production of my play, Walking the Blonde at Theatre Geo in Los Angeles. My first novel, Going Nowhere Sideways, was published to enthusiastic reviews by Fithian Press. I began studying with Jack Grapes of the Poets and Writers Collective and writing and publishing poetry.
In 2000, Meryl Friedman became the second Executive Director of the Virginia Avenue Project guiding it through its adolescence for seven exciting, creative years. Meryl and I expanded the Project’s horizons by augmenting our Outreach Program and instituted new programming to challenge Project kids in ways that were relevant to the changing times. We also started the Project’s creative tutoring program, Smart Partners, designed to make learning fun again for Project kids who were struggling in school or kids who wanted to maintain strong grade point averages before applying for college.
At the end of 2013, I retired as Artistic Director of the Virginia Avenue Project and returned to my first love, writing and performing. I began reading personal essays around town and in June, 2015 my solo show, Why Water Falls, had its World Premiere Production at the Hollywood Fringe Festival. This was followed by a successful run Off-Off Broadway in the fall of 2015. Why Water Falls enjoyed a return engagement in Los Angeles at Highways Performance Space in April, 2016 and will be having its final performance at the United Solo Festival in New York City on September 30, 2016. Stay tuned!
Nine Theatricals at the 13th St Repertory Theater’s version of Shakespeare’s HAMLET opens with a new character: ‘The Teller’ (played by RJ Lamb), who serves as a sort of “Living, Breathing Cliff Notes Guy”. It is a convention invented by the Greeks, and, for this reviewer, a welcome addition to guide us through the incessant, beautiful-but-wholly-unnecessary poetry that mars all of Shakespeare’s’ works. However, if indeed ‘”…the play is the thing…”, then it is a dubious achievement to actually present a character that Mr. Shakespeare did not actually write (unless he did, in earlier quartos/folios). But we digress.
Tom Rowan is talented – that’s for sure. An excellent dialogue writer (Renee Bang Allen’s entrance line, “Who turned the sun up so high?” gives immediate insight into the title character, which she played quite well) but more focus was needed to the entire piece.
At first the drama concerns the foolishness of a convenience marriage; then becomes a mystery; then a tale about forbidden love; then a matter about a young man (played well by Andrew Gelles) coming out for the closet, and standing up to the callous, shallow, contemptible heterosexual world. He seems to be the hero as the other characters seem stereotypical.
But make no mistake, Mr. Rowan has talent, which includes a good ear for dialogue, a well-structured play, and masterful exposition, but he should be mindful of those stereotypes. The women seem too bitchy and the men, too – well – too much like Donald Trump (A thumps up for the performance of Peter Reznikoff, playing the billionaire husband)
With some fine-tuning, Faye Drummond could really say something to its audience.
Photos by Jonathan M. Smith
Ernest Barzaga started a theatre company, rented a theatre, raised $25,000, and presented a seminal American classic in one of Indie Theater’s last bastions of cutting-edge theaters. And he hasn’t graduated college yet.
MILLER’S MASTERPIECE in NEW HANDS
‘Death of A Salesman’ by Arthur Miller is an unquestioned masterpiece of American Drama–it is, by far, Miller’s best play, and it belongs, with three others, on the Mount Rushmore of Great American Plays (the others being ‘Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?’, ‘Long Days Journey…’ and the combination of ‘Glass Menagerie and ‘Streetcar’)
A thousand before Ernest Barzaga and his company have analyzed the play to death since its premiere in 1949; it remains a towering piece of art, for so many reasons, because of its never ending timeliness, but in a larger sense its devotion to its mission–which is, destroying the lies that people live. The play, at its essence, is a journey, to reveal the lies for what they are–lies and myth-making, nothing more–and discard them. If a definition of art is to remind people how to live their lives, then this is the poster boy for such a proclamation.
Miller also created one of the most memorable characters in all dramatic history–the aptly named Willie Loman, a salesman/husband/father/Chaser of the Fake and False American Dream who has suffered one too many lashes at the mast, and has consistently bet on the wrong horse.
In this production, at the John Cullum Theater, Ian Cooper tries to tackle the role and does it justice. Yes, he’s young – the entire cast is younger than any of the roles in the production. Clearly, with this role at such a young age, he has jumped into the deep, deep end of the pool. But Mr Cooper’s performance is boulder-solid. He is compelling to look at and listen to. He knows how to stand on a stage, and give space to his fellow thespians when necessary. He belongs on a stage, any stage, doing any play. To quote Miller himself–‘Attention must be paid.’ Mr Cooper has accomplished something fairly remarkable–he has, though no choice of his own (the play demands it), taken this gigantic, man-mountain of a play on his back, and has successfully, sometimes spectacularly, carried it across the finish line. This makes us forgive his inapprpriate hair style (one must wonder if he needs his hair long in life thus was reticent to cut it for such a short run).
After a rocky start and some volume issues, about the 15 minute mark, Mr. Cooper talks about the longing for his 1928 Chevy–and then it were over. Mr. Cooper had won over this humble scribe, from that very moment until the end of the play. Swimming against the current, against the dying of the light, Mr. Cooper forges on and on and on and on, and doesn’t stop, never stops. His almost insatiable desire to – what – succeed … sell stuff … teach his children about manhood before he croaks on the Interstate?–is fascinating and harrowing to watch, since we know from the outset that Mr, Loman is doomed in his quest. Why? He has a skewed vision of what constitutes manhood, and is listening to the one man–his brother (superbly played by Caycee Kolodney, who gives Mr. Cooper a real run for his money with his performance), a land baron of the 19th Century, of the Gilded Age almost, who has no problem robbing from everyone he encounters (‘You cannot deal fairly with strangers’, he proudly boasts), who will steer him down the wrong path.
Joining the triumvirate of superior performance was Anna Paone, playing the tortured, fierce, loyal, Linda Loman. From her opening moments, sleeping (again) by herself, to her final monologue at Willie’s graveside, Ms Paone demonstrated a world-weariness and an inner strength that was completely appropriate for the character and in line with what Mr. Miller wrote.
Gianni Damaia was masterful as Willie’s neighbor Charlie. Their scene alone–which both defines their relationship and also creates new question about it–was the high point of the play. The timing, the direction, the pace, the rhythm, the stakes involved, the passion–all first rate and compelling theater. It also raised a question which we don’t think had been explored before–did Charlie have a thing for Linda? Interesting insight.
The brothers were not quite as successful, but acquitted themselves as the play went on. David Levi as Happy has talent but was missing Happy’s shallow view of the world, and his need for shallow things–like chasing girls to the exclusion of everything else (wonderfully highlighted by the steak house scene in Act II).. His parents pay him little attention for a reason. There must be an understanding from the actor to the character, and give it basis. He, like Mr. Cooper, needed more period-perfect make-up and costuming.
Aaron Ogle as Biff gave a good, earnest performance. Mr. Ogle, like Mr. Cooper, affected a tone in their voices that had a Lower East Side flavor. Maybe this was meant to show age or time-period but wasn’t needed. Biff has a powerful journey – as a man doomed to the abyss because he learned his father was a lying hypocrite, a devastating discovery for any child. Authentic tone optional. .
Alexander Gheesling as Howard was well-cast, his time on stage is in a vital scene on which the play pivots, so he could have done even more in his moments. David Melgar as Bernard played both his scenes well, and the latter one, with an ailing Willie, was touching. Now, about that hair… (these aforementioned problems (hairstyles for most characters were incorrect for 1949; costuming was inconsistent) were fixable and a lesson learned for next time).
A tip of the hat to the director, Mr. Ernest Barzaga. At its essence, a director’s job is to address the individual art of the actor, and to bring the assorted arts of the other actors and designers together in a cohesive product – and in this task, Mr. Barzaga succeeded. Matters of pacing and staging will only grow stronger and stronger, that is obvious.
The best of success to a fledgling theater company…and maybe next time, into the ocean, where there is no bottom, and no limits. This group has proven, with little hesitation, which it can tackle anything the Theater Gods present before them.
SUMMER SOUL SOUNDS
There are some lovely words in the English Language. ‘Sound Bath’ would be one.
When this dazzling combo made its entrance about 10 minutes into the Healing Session/Performance, butts shifted in chairs, and attention was paid.
Mary Elizabeth Micari hosted this innovative, unusual, well-meaning experiment–both a ‘session’ and a ‘performance’–and on the whole, despite a few trappings of the modern world sneaking in, was a successful endeavor.
This is an evening of healing, as advertised, by trained sound healers (a wholly legitimate science and art, with schools and degrees dedicated to its teachings), and the healing will take place by any means necessary. It is also a performance of sorts–after all, you’re here, and the healers are ‘up there’. Because of that fact, because the ‘stage’ was dressed so elegantly and appropriate for the tranquil evening planned, a certain level of performance is expected.
Once in awhile the lines became too blurred–sometimes a ‘session’, sometimes a ‘performance’, and sometimes, unfortunately, an infomercial. We are here for meditation, for inner peace through music, that should be the entire agenda.
The evening started with a session by Daniel Lauter, a thoughtful, gentle soul who shared his talent in a caring, giving, touching way. One was free to join in, or not; the decision was entirely ours. His assorted collection of “singing” bowls was beautiful and elegant and lovely to listen to. He was a man of few words, and had nothing to offer except himself, his energy, and his art. Unfortunately, the next performer was not as gracious a host. After an amusing story as a 5-year-old learning the sax, Erik Lawrence regaled us with one tale after another of who he played with, and where. Even if this wasn’t his intention, it seemed as if he was attempting to find new clients in the audience.
Fortunately, Act I was saved by George Brandon–a man filled with spirit and soul, and the possessor of a wonderfully sonorous voice, a voice so powerful we could listen to him recite the Yellow Pages without getting fidgety. A commanding presence on the stage, properly dressed for the occasion, you had no choice but to listen, and enter his world. His musical piece–in which all performers joined, including the hostess–was required listening. His mantra–“Don’t Waste Your Life” was short, sweet, and to the point. If only the rest of the world was listening, we’d all be better off.
Act II brought another infomercial. Malia Culp might be successful amongst those she knows well, but on a stage, performing for a group of strangers, she seemed pretentious. Her talents may or may not resonate with her clients, but it’s hard to believe spending half her evening sounding like a bumble bee would work. She acknowledged her ‘…beautiful Erik’ and then began her own commercial much like he did. Sadly, she, too, decided to talk of her talent was better than to show it making her contribution to the evening amount to nothing.
That left the ‘finale’ to Ms. Micari. She saved the day. There is a reason she hosted the event, and a reason she went last–she has the talent the others have, but also a personality that is second to none. She sang beautiful odes of healing brought down to her from her ancestors, and they did not disappoint–from the Gaelic Hills, to the lovely land of Calabria, her voice lifted the evening all by itself…then, it a fitting conclusion, led the audience members out of their seats and into the lobby of the theater, for a wholly satisfying conclusion.
As Hostess, Ms. Micari must be a little mindful of the ramblings of her company but otherwise, a splendid time was had by all, and a big fat tip-of-the-hat to her for organizing such an innovative evening of healing and performance.