Saturday, September 5, 2009
I've been a theatre geek my entire life, and I sometimes think I've seen it all: Nudity, scenery mishaps, drag shows, old-lady dancing, awards shows, theatre in the round, aerial stuntwork, improvised Shakespeare, one-person plays, tv show tapings, a 6-year-old playing Nixon, Broadway, Off-Broadway, So Very Very NOT Broadway, and a play starring a cat. But this is New York, and there's always something new to see. So leave it to a troupe from Minnesota to introduce me to yet another totally new theatre experince: An outdoor walking play. Friend Alan, who lives here but makes a pilgrimage to Minneapolis every few years to star as the Dalai Lama in the utterly enchanting The Buddha Prince, has the lead role as spiritual leader/narrator in this show, which meets its audience on a sidewalk outside Central Park, then guides them through the park from stage to stage while they reenact the life of the 14th Dalai Lama through song, dance, puppetry, poetry, physical comedy and mime. The formula of outdoor stages+a super talented cast+themes of peace, love and compassion-pretension and a stifling theatre was an absolutely winning one. Can we make all shows be like this? Outdoor walking Glengarry Glen Ross, anyone?
Resolute Tibetans defend their sacred land
K and I met up with the Dalai Lama who, in some interpretations of the story, is a white dude.