In 1989 former businessman turned playwright Jerry Sterner penned a huge hit about a rapacious corporate takeover specialist, Larry “The Liquidator” Garfinkle, a fast-talking, donut-and-bagel-eating New Yorker who takes over the New England Wire and Cable Company. Popular among Wall Streeters, It even earned the endorsement of a rising young real estate mogul named Donald Trump, although he invested no money — not even other people’s money — in the production.
“There are spirits in this structure, and they are celebrating right now.”
So said an emotion-filled Robert Greenberg as he thanked an audience of friends and supporters who attended a special comedy performance this past Thursday of The Regicides to “help rescue New Haven’s tangible treasures.”
Nina Lesiga remembers when she realized that the chicken she was eating for Sunday dinner — a little tough and chewy, come to think of it — was in fact Vanya, once her grandmother’s favorite black-and-yellow plumed, softly cooing pet.
Thanks to a growing story-sharing initiative at the Institute Library, New Haveners now do too .
A new New Haven-based film, I Am Shakespeare (The Henry Green Story), not yet in its premiere phase, is slated to be screened at a Nov. 19 fundraiser.
The audience will not only get to see the film and participate in a talk-back with the film’s subject, Henry Green, and director, Stephen Dest; it will also be contributing to an exciting light installation project in New Haven by world-renowned artist Sheila Levrant de Bretteville.
Standing in the middle of Lyric Hall’s intimate stage, soprano Zohra Rawling was having a perfectly normal Thursday afternoon conjuring spirits, her voice reaching the rafters and pushing upward to the roof. Oooo oooo ooo ooooooohhhoo, she sang, the first of three puppets appearing before her with neat, ruby red lips and a bone-white face. Ooooooo oooo, she continued. A few backstage cobwebs dissolved with the vocals.
Right on cue, stilt-walker-cum-ghost Allison McDermott teetered behind Rawling, waving her arms to the music. Another puppet appeared, and an opera got underway.
In a quiet upstairs room at Long Wharf Theater, a group of students were getting Thanksgiving preparations underway, bowing their heads as they began a sort of prayer-cum-beatboxing. Aaron Jafferis, Hanifa Washington and Angela Clinton made chewing noises in 4/4 time. At Aleta Staton’s direction, they were riding that rhythm as hard as they could.
In Shakespeare’s Hamlet, the prince’s advice to the players suggests that “the purpose of playing” is “to hold the mirror up to nature,” but we might wonder exactly what “nature” means there. Does it include political matters? Or something more essential?
Today, most of us — audiences, artists, critics — are aware that our “nature” is almost inextricably fused with our politics. Therein lies the purpose behind the arch and suggestive comedy of Sarah Ruhl’s Scenes from Court Life, or the whipping boy and his prince, now in its world premiere at Yale Repertory Theatre, directed by Mark Wing-Davey.
Just moments after a woman has screamed from the pain of childbirth, fists are flying. Limbs are lunging. On one end of the room, a grandmother emerges from her dreary shuffle to restrain the pregnant woman, one elbow cutting across her neck as the other swings back, ready to move into action. Just feet away, a father and son wrestle each other to the floor, alternating swings as they rotate around each other, grudging and violent planets in paternal orbit. Their bodies, seething with anger and distrust, fill the space.
Somehow, everything operates at a whisper. The whoosh of labored breath is the only guaranteed sound. They, these weary and wary fighters, know what we in the audience are still learning: If the woman screams again, it could cause an avalanche to come crashing down on their home, and their village.