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Friday, May 4, 2007

Blackberry at ACT in San Francisco

Yesterday I was picking up Raya Light at the airport (back from world tennis championships in Turkey; the U.S. team placed 8th) when I picked up a call from friends on Liberty Street offering me two tickets to "Blackbird" at ACT. I said I'd take them, rash of me since I had managed not to hear a word about the play until then and because Raya wasn't yet through Customs and curtain was in 40 minutes.

Somehow we were only fifteen minutes late. As we settled into our seats I was predictably disoriented, trying to figure out where we were and what was going on. Later I gathered from friends who saw it opening night that it doesn't help much to be on time.

I enjoyed the disoriented portion of the evening more than the rest of it. I found the play--a cross between Lolita and No Exit--intermittently compelling, the characters sympathetic enough for me to care about their predicament. But too often I felt the ickiness of the playwright's pleasure in being provocative, and the parts that were meant to be most shocking were actually the most predictable. Of course they're going to kiss! Still, someone nearby was gullible enough to be offended, and walked out, so for somebody the play will work as intended.

Still, I thought there was something good about it. In the parking garage elevator, when I recognized the actress who plays Humbert Humbert's step-daughter, I asked for her autograph. Raya pretended she didn't know me after that.

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