Tuesday, March 02, 2010

News of the Week

--Sometimes I find myself standing in my living room, looking over the shelves, reaching for a book I've read ten times, twenty times. This week, I pulled down Oyster by Janette Turner Hospital, which I first heard about from a Booksense76 newsletter--do those still exist? I wrote this post a while back about her, which popped into my brain when I decided that I had already said all the things I was about to say again. One of the things I wrote then was that her work is: "a response, a reaction, a dialogue with the entire scope of art and artforms: music, opera, poetry, painting." This is true, even more than I remember it. Oyster is complicated, difficult, incredibly rich with language and room and intellect. And I love it.

--I hate teenagers on the bus. I realize that the only time they have to be themselves is the short, unsupervised hour between when school ends and when they arrive at home. So, in a way, the bus is the pinnacle of their real experience with each other. I'm just depressed that the way they talk to each other is so cruel, so destructive. (I do not remember my teenage years being like this. Were they? Was it because I had a group of weirdo friends who made theater together and drank wine at the teacher's house?) Everything to them is about saving face, about being in the middle, not too much of anything. They don't even listen to each other, they just talk, make grand statements about the lesserness of each other. It's disguised by the talk of phones and shoes and what she or he said, and how they said it. Am I a grumpy old person cursing the kids for stepping on the lawn? All of it makes me feel very alone. And I hate it.

--Charles Busch and Julie Halston, and a victorious cavalcade of other fantastically talented people are performing in "The Divine Sister," down at Theater for the New City. They say it's totally sold out, but you can get on the wait list. Do try. It's extraordinary. I think what I find most refreshing about Charles's work is that every one of his plays, when you take away everything, all the references and laughs and over-the-top everything, his work is about finding who you are, and loving who you are, and making the past right, and owning yourself in whatever way you have to. It's theater like nobody else is doing right now, or has ever maybe, and I don't know how the walls of that little theater can ever contain all the joy that they create together. And I love it.

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