Oslo: #Not90MinutesNoIntermission

 

I’d mentioned a few weeks back that Kristen and I had bought a bunch of tickets on TDF after the Tony Nominations were announced and one of those shows was Oslo at Lincoln Center. It had a great cast and it was historical. How could it be bad?

Oh yeah, it was three hours long.

Should we get large coffees at Joe beforehand so we’re properly caffeinated?” I’d texted Kristen that morning. She concurred and with large cold brews in hand, we walked over to the Vivian Beaumont. We took our seats in the orchestra, off right of center. The seats were, once again, fantastic. TDF is really killing it lately in that sense. Although it must be mentioned that there’s literally not a bad seat in that theatre. I’ve sat in all of the sections, top and bottom, and they’re all good. A few minutes after 2pm, the incomparable Jefferson Mays walked onto the stage and the lights shifted.

In case you’re living under a rock, Oslo is about the Olso Accords that took place in Oslo (duh) from 1992-1993. Given that I was 6 years old when this happened, and we all know how anything we weren’t responsible for directly is skimmed over in the US school system, I was unaware of everything that went down.

Mays played Terje Rod-Larsen, a Norweigian sociologist and politician, who had a method for conflict resolution that he greatly wanted to attempt to use to solve the conflict between Israel and Palestine. His wife, Mona (the fabulous Jennifer Ehle) worked at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and together they worked “in developing the back-channel communications that (reportedly) saved the Oslo negotiations from collapsing.” Because despite what our current president might think, it’s pretty hard to negotiate peace in the Middle East and the US and major world powers in 1992 were attempting the same thing and fucking it up royally. His theory was, I believe, that it was more affective for people only associated with two side’s governments to be at the table, rather than the government officials themselves.

It’s incredibly sad to see how hard people worked on this and then how quickly it all fell apart. The last sequence is the cast onstage together reciting the events that lead to the atrophying of the peace agreements and the eruption into the chaos that we know it is today.

Besides Mays and Ehle, Michael Aronov, Anthony Azizi, Dariush Kashani, and Daniel Oreskes all gave powerful performances as the people who involved in the actual negotiations.

But let’s get back to the length for one second. This was by far the quickest 3 hours in a theatre that I’ve ever experienced. I sat through (the slightly longer) August Osage County and that felt lightyears longer than Oslo. Oslo was so engaging that I was never, ever, even for one second bored. I never flipped through my Playbill or checked my watch. THAT’S how you know you’re experiencing a solid piece of theatre.

Oslo just won the Outer Critics Circle Award and I bet that’s not the last award it will win this season, at least I hope not. This is a simple, yet thoroughly engaging production on a timely AF topic with a top notch cast. Get your tickets.

My Night with Alabama

Is Alabamans the name for people from Alabama? I’d imagine so. Let me know if I’m wrong. 

I’d gone with J last Saturday night to a bar in the Flatiron so he could see one of his good friends from his first job in DC for the first time in years and somehow I ended up hanging out at a table that was more than half full of Alabamans. That’s a sentence I never thought I’d say! 

His friend’s fiancee is from Alabama (she was super sweet!) and she met up with four friends from high school/college who were vacationing in the city or lived here. Two of them were not yet 30 and vacationing in the big city for their 5 year wedding anniversary. A different way of life, indeed. 

Politics never came up, and probably for the best. But Fucking A, I have never in my life felt so pressured to be engaged and/or married. When we were asked how long we’d been together and we said our 1-year anniversary was the prior week, the couple celebrating their 5-year anniversary looked at each other and said, “oh, we were engaged after a year!” And then they started discussing engagement rings and how I have to take him shopping for one so he doesn’t get me a bad ring. I smiled and nodded and then changed the topic because I’m in no rush to get married. I don’t see it as a necessary step in a relationship or in life. 

They were super nice people and I had fun, despite my being incredibly exhausted. But man, am I glad I don’t live in Alabama and that I wasn’t married right out of college. Talk about boring. Where’s the room for life experiences if you’re already playing house when you’re 22? 

One thing is for sure: they’ll be fun to drink with at the wedding! 

Different strokes, man….

Sanders’ Supporters May Face Election Fraud In New York

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Sanders’ Supporters May Face Election Fraud In New York

More reasons not to have kids.

Last Tuesday night, I met two of my closest friends from my last job down at our usual watering hole: Von (on Bleecker). It’s simple, has happy hour, and doesn’t get crowded until later in the evening. I adore these guys so much and I miss seeing their faces every day and going down to the Calexico cart with them for lunch and waiting on ridiculous lines for burritos. Anyways, I digress.

One friend, we’ll call him D, regaled us with how he’s getting fucked over in court currently. He broke up recently with his girlfriend, with whom he had a child (he’s adorable), and now she’s taken him to court for every last dollar he has. She’s currently unemployed, told the judge she’s applying for food stamps and is going to work part-time. For some reason this sounded OK to the judge and he’s awarded her $4000 per month in child support payments. 

Let that number sink in. 

FOUR THOUSAND DOLLARS. I feel so bad for him. His girlfriend is a psychopath. And what kind of judge says OK when a parent is like “food stamps and part-time employment it is!” Their son goes to daycare, it’s not like she has to watch him 24/7. 

Then our other friend, we’ll call him G, cautioned us against marriage (partially, sort of in jest, because usually marriage is super simple to get out of unless you own real estate together) with the story about G’s friend who was just out of medical school with lots of loans. He’d never worked a day as a doctor, and when his wife divorced him, the judge based the settlement that he owed her on his “earning potential,” and he was now to pay her $1 million. He has medical school debt and he has to pay his ex-wife $1 million.

I think the laws need to graduate a bit from 1950 and get with the times. Women usually have full-time jobs and don’t need to be coddled in court.

That said: still not having kids. And being very careful with whom I marry (if I marry) and making sure there’s a pre-nup involved.

What’d we do after brunch and the race on Sunday? We settled in with some healthy snacks (thanks, Trader Joe’s!) watched the last 8 episodes of The Man in the High Castle. This show is simply amazing – the scale of which their imaginations had to climb is staggering. Nothing could be as it was today – there were swastikas or Japanese writing on everything. Such an interesting, and scary, thing to think about, if we lost the war. The last episode dragged a little bit and the ending was a little confusing, but overall I really loved it. I think there might be multiple universes going on in the show. 

I’m a bit conflicted regarding whether or not there should be a second season (and I haven’t been able to find online if there is one planned or not). It’d just be the same thing over and over, but then again, with the way things ended in season 1, there are lots of unanswered question.

If you have Amazon Prime, load this onto your Apple TV/Roku/computer immediately. 

On Friday night I went with the awesome dude I’ve been seeing to see Selma. We met at the march for Eric Garner on December 4th (no, he didn’t ask for my number that night) so it made sense that we go witness this piece of cinematic history together.

I really, really liked it. It was incredibly sad, disturbing, inspiring, and enraging. Police violence is not as bad as it was in the 1960’s but some of the scenes could’ve been taken out of this movie and inserted into today’s headlines easily. I went to school at a moderately liberal high school and I don’t recall ever having learned about the marches. We learned of course who Martin Luther King Jr. was but I feel like I was totally cheated out of learning some pretty important lessons as an adolescent.

David Oyelowo was unbelievable as MLK Jr. and Carmen Ejogo was inspiring as Coretta Scott King. Everyone in the cast was stellar and all deserve shout-outs but I don’t anyone wants to read all of that in a blog post (check IMDB here). 

I feel like school’s should be taking field trips to see this movie in every single district in the country. This should be mandatory viewing for every American citizen. We’ve made progress in this country, but not anywhere near enough. History is repeating itself and I don’t think enough people know that.

Go see Selma. That’s an order.