Found this in Taegan Goddard’s Political Wire this morning:
BuzzFeed obtained a confidential strategy memo from an anti-gay marriage group, the National Organization for Marriage, with a goal of “fanning the hostility” between black voters and gay voters by casting President Obama as a radical foe of marriage.
If you download the strategy memo (an Adobe .pdf file) you”ll see just how conspiratorial this Repiglicant group is and how they use their lies and fabrications to weaken their Democratic opponents.
Elly and I, along with Linda and Cecil, attended the Opening Night performance of Steven Dietz’s Yankee Tavern, a two act play which starts out as a comedy and leaves you, by the end of the last scene of the second act, believing in all kinds of conspiracy theories relating to 9/11, the disappearance of Saudi princes, the mysteries of why Tower 7 imploded and who planned the attack and wrote a sealed and hidden plan three days before and put it….
Oh you can go on and on and it gets more and more caught up in the rantings of an old man, the mysteries of a quiet guy in sunglasses who sits silently and buys a beer for an invisible friend, a young bartender working on his PhD in International Studies who gets caught up in the conspiracy theories surrounding everyone and a young woman and fiancee to the young bartender who sees her upcoming wedding falling apart…
And all of that doesn’t explain what is REALLY happening, nor does it keep YOU from getting more and more involved in the mystery.
And it’s FUNNY!
We sat next to Steven Dietz, the author, who occasionally made some notes in a little book… dialogue changes, I guess… but he was laughing just as much as we were… especially in the first act (as I said, in the first act you think it is a straightforward comedy… it’s the second act that drags you into the mystery and conspiracy of the evening.)
The cast included Eric Sheffer Stevens, who played Adam, the young bartender; Anne Marie Nest (who we saw in Stick Fly last year, which was also directed by Liesl Tommy); John Lescault as Palmer, the mysterious man in sunglasses with the invisible pal; and, best of all, Anderson Matthews as Ray, who sees ghosts wandering the rooms of the hotel upstairs, believes all conspiracy theories (and makes sure you hear about all of them), and tries to keep the couple together.
Matthews is a hugely successful character actor… we saw him in a couple of things last year including the wonderful Pig Farm. He takes us from rumor to rumor with a belief in an unreal world that he HAS to share. I could watch him play this part all night long and NEVER get tired of the character,
Ms. Tommy, the Director, interpreted the author’s work in a distinctly clear way… but there is one thing she did that really stood out with me and made another aspect of Yankee Tavern even more real. Ray gives us ongoing descriptions of the “ghosts upstairs”, including Adam’s late father Vince and many others, who wander from room to room spending their time talking to, of all people, Ray. The second act has a couple of scene changes in the bar which indicate a passing of time and a change of characters present. Ms. Tommy has the props shifted and furniture moved by a set of interns dressed in black who are lit from below in a mostly darkened set so that they look like ghosts moving all around. Yes, we can see the scenic change and, yes it could have been done in complete blackout… they don’t take too long… but Tommy makes us SEE the GHOSTS that Ray has been talking about… if only for a second or two. Who cares if it’s a scene change? This is an inventive piece of directing.
OK, getting to the end of this… if you have a chance to get over to the CATF this month, I can flat out recommend that you see Yankee Tavern. It’s great.