Saturday, November 3, 2012

After Midnight

It was a particularly tough day to seek joy. The weight of the world felt heavier than it had in previous days—as I was neither out helping nor in the relative denial of the Upper West Side. Instead, I worked all day from home, which I really appreciated, especially considering that it allowed me to work all day instead of use precious hours commuting.

But as I was sitting on my cushy chair building performance programs and editing marketing posters and talking with artist representatives, Mickey and Nina were in a 10 1/2 hour gas line, and friends were mobilizing across the city to bring supplies to people in need, and the weather started to get colder, which made me feel scared for people living without heat, especially people without homes at all.

And yet I have this commitment to myself, and I do believe in it. And so I decided to take an easy path, and reach for joy somewhere I can reliably find it: in the theater. I went to Williamsburg to see Target Margin's lab productions of two Yiddish plays in translation: After Midnight by Samuel Daixel, and Cripples by David Pinski.

You know what it's like when you go to the theater, if it's good. You get transported away from gas lines and floods, and you sit in the moment—moment to moment—and go on a journey.  This isn't a forum for theater criticism or review, so I don't need to be thorough in my reporting, but After Midnight is a pure delight of direction and acting. It might also be a delight of writing, but I might have dismissed it on the page for being cute and simple. On the stage however, it was whimsical and global, with the kind of biting social commentary that Yiddish plays are often known for. It also had a Shakespearean quality—with late night action in a forest with naive nature sprites who are somehow wiser than humans.

After I was done being transported I came back to my neighborhood and made Hurricane support plans for the weekend (make donations, carry food and medicine to homebound seniors, cook hot meals.) Hopefully this will bring if not joy to people who are deeply affected then at least comfort.

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