Author: Margret Echeverria

Prodigal Son

The Prodigal Son of the Bible finds his way home to his father who weeps with joy at his return. Chalamet’s journey as young Quinn in Shanley’s Prodigal Son weaves his way through two father figures who ultimately betray him to find his way to a more modern interpretation of the parable: One is home when one finds love and respect for one’s whole self. It’s a lesson not many of us ever really learn before forty, much less before eighteen.

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Sometimes you just want to be entertained, to laugh a lot, not be required to think too hard and just simply enjoy yourself at the theatre. No crying. No deep philosophical existential questions. Washer/Dryer is just this kind of light delight – good clean fun like a fresh load of towels straight from the laundry.

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Bronx Gothic

I looked up “Gothic” in a couple of dictionaries and found among the variable definitions this:  “of or relating to a style of writing that describes strange or frightening events that take place in mysterious places.”  Perfect.  Bronx Gothic is aptly named.  It is a one-woman show performed by its writer, Okwui Okpokwasili.  The writing is a memoir of strange and frightening events that took place in the Bronx and within the complex lives of two girls on the verge of becoming teen-agers.  The show is electrified with raw truth and extreme pushing against the traditional theatrical arts. I am a big fan of true stories.  Not the glossy widely marketable ones suitable for all demographics, but the gritty stories that are deeply personal confessions so ugly that they become beautiful.  Okpokwasili tells this kind of autobiographical story fearlessly. The show begins before the audience sits down.  The environment is evocative of an East Village apartment living room in the ‘90’s decorated by someone just out of college and then magnified to a fantastical size without losing intimacy.  There are cushions on the floor around the performance area.  The light is soft like the music, which is hypnotic in its rhythm.  And in one corner of the space is Okpokwasili with her back to us and every muscle in her body is seemingly on fire.  She is nearly six...

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