Welcome back to regular Weekly Adventure updates! (This one is actually for last week…but I moved this Sunday so I should be back on schedule tomorrow. Yeah, that’s right, I already have an adventure planned for tonight!)
Anyway, last Friday night, my New York godmother (who I sometimes refer to as Baboo, because my brother and I have known her since before we could pronounce words properly) went to see the new revival of Falsettos at the Walter Kerr Theater. (Actually in the exact same seats that my mom and I saw The Crucible from this summer!)
Earlier that day I had read the New York Times review where Charles Isherwood referred to this production as perfect, which combined with my love for pretty much the whole cast (I mean, I hadn’t heard of the kid obviously, but Andrew Rannells? Brandon Uranowitz? Christian Borle? Traci Thoms!) had me excited but also worried (again) about inflated expectations.
And, honestly at first I wasn’t sure what Isherwood was talking about. Don’t get me wrong, it was good. And all of the actors were great. Especially Stephanie J. Block in her slow motion break down glory.
But it didn’t seem to be rising to the level of “perfect” anything…and then Act II started.
For a little background Falsettos is made up of 2 one acts (there’s also a prequel of sorts) about a man named Marvin (Borle) who leaves his wife (Block) for a man (Rannells) and their attempt to remain a family with their son Jason, despite this complication. (And the further complication that she then falls in love with the family psychiatrist (Uranowitz).) It’s a good set up for both comedy and pathos, and the first act zips along this path…
But the most important background fact is that the last act came out in 1981. And is about gay men. So, it becomes a gut punch of how this zany neurotic family deal with the crisis they didn’t even have the name AIDS for yet. While this is obviously upsetting (Baboo and I both cried all the mascara off of our faces), but it was also an incredibly moving look at what makes a family and how heartbreaking it can be to be in one.
So, in the end, I get where you’re coming from Mr. Isherwood. Act II is pretty damn near perfect. (And can’t wait to cheer for Andrew Rannell’s Tony Nom next spring.)