Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Theatrical Benefit and Dance

* Speaking of commuting...last night (June 7, 2005) I felt like I was back in the non-stop days of 1999. Only this time, it was to two theatrical events that I sped between. First I attended the Lynne Thigpen/Bobo Lewis Foundation Spring Benefit Gala at the Second Stage Theatre on 43rd Street. This joyous evening featured a benefit performance of Cheryl West's new play Birdie Blue, directed by Seret Scott, starring S. Epatha Merkerson. This is an especially exciting feature because the last time Lynne Thigpen performed on stage was at Second Stage Theatre in Cheryl's play, Jar The Floor (for which she won an Obie). Lynne and Epatha worked together many times and were good friends. The performances were brilliant and Epatha moves the audience through a full range of emotions throughout the play. It’s playing through July 17 so get your tickets soon. Created in June 2003 and headed by NYSIA-board member and long-time Alley netizen, Larry Aronson, the foundation is dedicated to helping young NYC actresses and actors survive and succeed. More information:

* After the riveting hour and 20-minute performance at Second Stage, I biked to the Joyce Theater where the Seán Curran Company is performing until June 12th. One of my good friends Kevin Scarpin, has been dancing with them since 2000, which was yet another good reason for me to attend this opening. This dance company is known for mixing classical training, European Folk Dance and postmodern sensibilities, which evokes physical exuberance and emotional depths.