Sunday, June 10, 2018

26 (2018-2019): A note in lieu of a review: FRUIT TRILOGY (not seen June 9, 2018)


Alert! This is not a review. It’s just a note about one of those things that now and then happens to folks like me that often review five or more plays a week.

My wife, Marcia, who is very selective about what shows she wishes to see when I have a plus-one opportunity—which covers around 80% of the well-over 200 shows I review annually—decided she wanted to see Eve Ensler’s Fruit Trilogy, currently being presented by the Abingdon Theatre Company Off Broadway. My schedule is so crowded that finding a date when I could squeeze in the show while also accommodating Marcia’s availability wasn’t easy, but last night, Friday, June 9, worked perfectly.

We live out in Howard Beach, near JFK, so we subwayed in on the A train, giving ourselves enough time to stop, if necessary, for a cup of coffee on the way. However, the barista at the pastry shop on Bleecker St. was very slow and, as it was getting a bit late, we had to carry the hot cups with us as we rushed along the streets of Greenwich Village toward the Cherry Lane Theatre. But as we approached the venue, and I saw no one lingering outside, I got the chills, even with the coffee in my hand.

Something was wrong, and it wasn’t the curtain time. It was that I’d gotten the theatre wrong! Checking my phone, I realized that the show was at the Lucille Lortel, not the Cherry Lane. Luckily, the Lortel is only about two and a half blocks from the Cherry Lane, so we two coffee-carrying septuagenarians hustled as quickly as we could to the correct theatre only to notice that, once again, no one was huddling outside the place, as is always the case just before a show begins. Arriving at the theatre’s pearly gates I saw the reason: a note was posted saying the performance was canceled because one of the actors had injured herself at the matinee and was at the ER.

My immediate reaction was to get mad at the press rep for not having notified me in time. The box office guy could offer no explanation about it, nor could the Abingdon’s artistic director, Tony Speciale, who was very sweet. Still flustered, and wondering why, since no one else seemed to be showing up to be disappointed—the box office guy said some had been contacted and others had already been turned away—I checked the emails on my phone.

THERE IT WAS, a message from the press rep sent at 7:04, while Marcia and I were blissfully passing Nostrand Avenue, Hoyt-Schermerhorn, or Jay Street/Borough Hall, saying: TIME SENSITIVE (not sensitive enough, however), and apologizing for the cancellation because of actress Kiersey Clemons’s sprained ankle. So the rep was off the hook, the actor was in pain, and Marcia and I were homeward bound. Wiping the sweat from our brows, we trudged back to the subway and returned home for an evening of HBO’s “Barry” and a DVD episode of “The Handmaid’s Tale.” As for Fruit Trilogy, my calendar tells me that any hopes I have of seeing it will be fruitless.

The lesson: if you tell an actor to break a leg be careful what you ask for.

Weirdendum: This afternoon Marcia and I compensated for last night's cancellation by going out to see a movie. The first preview was of a new movie called Hearts Beat Loud, starring Nick Offerman and a rising young actress I never heard of--until last night--Kiersey Clemons. Now I know who I was missing!