I saw two plays last week: “A Strange Loop” and “Fairview.” They are both intense nights at the theater. “Loop” is about an African American artist who moonlights as an usher at The Lion King trying to find his place in the world. It was a glimpse into the gay community in the City, and how harsh and racist it can be. Also the scary moment when you are trying to do something creative and have no idea whether you can bring that work into the world.
Near the end, a patron at the “Lion King” gives Usher advice that can resonate with all of us. “Live your life and tell your own story in exactly the same way: truthfully and without fear.”
“Fairview” is harder to summarize—suffice it to say that it confronts the largely white audience and literally asks that we stand in the shoes of the African American cast. Before the curtain call, I was standing on the stage. For real.
There are a lot of things that can be tough about living in NYC. The heat this weekend is unbearable. It’s expensive. Often exhausting.
And then I go to these shows and I think: wow, thank you. It doesn’t just engage me in a way screens never match. I find those evenings stretch me. And I remember them long after I leave the theater.