Friday, October 22, 2021

After Seeing The Lehman Trilogy

 Over the years I've written after I've seen plays.  it's been a couple of years now since I've seen a play.  last night I saw The Lehman Trilogy.  it's unusual, remarkable, creative, thought provoking, touching, and funny- and shocking.  It's also vey Jewish, filled with actual Hebrew words, like Hashem over and over again, and the full text of the brachah of Vhanukah candle lighting, and Kaddish recited again, again.  And it includes a young boy asking his Rebbe why G-d had to do the makkot against Egypt and not just kill Pharoh. It shows how over 100 years the keeping of shiva and shloshim (those words are used) got knocked down to less and less... until it's time to say kaddish for the business.  It's about how in the 1800s it's a store selling things and then it moves away from that until it's unclear what's being sold other than words. It includes a speech about the company's goal becoming to get people to buy, and what it means to buy: to think that you're getting something, when it's an illusion, and the one getting something is the seller of nothing really, who gets your money. 

It has 3 actors who play men, women, and children- covincingly.  The eldest brother to me was the strongest presence, the most inhabited by the actor.  The other two (of the 3 brothers) (does the trilogy somehow represent the 3 brothers - if it did, I think the 3 parts would match if you jumbled their order) are also strong, just not as strong.  On the night I saw it one of them misspoke and corrected his words a couple of times, while in the other two's acting I saw no such chink in the armor.  This is not to say that he was not excellent, he was. The actor I'm thinking of (I'm confusing in my mind if he was middle or youngest) reminded me a lot of Stan Laurel in is essence and in how he spoke, moved, was.  These men were incredible in how they climbed and danced on stage, moving and morphing for three hours.

Worthy of note is the one in a million stage.  I thought years ago that the stage of The Curious Incident of The Dog in the Night Time was incredible.  This one is beyond that. It's a metal and glass box that turns, and I wasn't always sure when it was turning or wasn't, and I wasn't sure when the actor was talking to me (as his character, or- often, as a narrator talking about about the character from inside the character) from behind glass or from a section of the cube that contained them that was not a wall of glass but a wall of air. 

And there's live piano music being payed throughout, which sounds as I write this like it shouldn't have been there, but while watching the play it felt like it belonged there and was at least part of the glue holding it all together.

I am grateful to G-d for having seen a play, particularly this one, last night.  As the eldest brother in the play says several times, "Baruch Hashem."


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