What I saw: “A Day By The Sea,” a play from 1953, staged by the Mint Theater Company at the Beckett Theater at 410 West 42nd Street, off-Broadway in NYC.
What I wore: Chinese-made Australian boots, James jeans, indigo-dyed Tanner belt, brown Eileen Fisher jersey top that I wear when I can’t think of anything better, taupe Garnet Hill fringed cardigan (a thing I sometimes love and other times hate to wear), mascara.
What I did beforehand: walked and fed the dogs; had a riding lesson; took a shower; rode a train where I sat in the quiet car and people sat down next to me and argued loudly in two languages for 40 minutes, undeterred by occasional announcements that the last two cars are quiet cars; saw the dentist which was supposed to be quick and simple, but was less so; visited the Morgan Library to see my favorite baby Jesus again and the Dubuffet drawings which I gushed over; ate some food when the numbed teeth woke up.
Who went with me: plenty of old white folks, and a couple of my demons.
How I got tickets: on line, in the middle of last Saturday night.
Why I saw this show: impulse, because it seems like a dentist appointment alone isn’t reason enough to go to the city.
Where I sat: Row E, seat 2, between two men who were also there by themselves.
What it is: a play from the fifties, about loneliness, or the crisis of middle age, when so many of us realize that we are running out of time to correct the course our lives amidst the crushing accumulation of disappointments.
Things that were sad: see, “What it is.”
Things that were funny: there were many funny and/or poignant moments. According to the program, before serving in World War II, playwright N.C. Hunter wrote frothy comedies for the London stage. After, his works were more bittersweet, but not without humor. I believe there were more laughs in this script than the studious, elderly New York audience was willing to let loose.
Things that were not funny: I laughed regularly, but alone. At one point, my giggles were joined by others’ chuckles, until an audience member on the other side of the theater shushed us.
Who should see it: people who laugh; fans of TV shows set in English manors in search of better-written plots, more interesting dialog, more honest interactions, and fully-fleshed-out human characters, who, like me, might have had to stop watching after the rape scene.
What I saw on the way home: turned my ankle avoiding the puddles of vomit on 42nd Street.