Sunday, August 4, 2019

Yes, Yes…Nanette

Yes, Yes…Nanette

I have mentioned that, while in Manhattan, I was going to see a rising star, Hannah Gadsby. It deserves a lot more than “a mention.” I had little idea of what I was getting into. I don’t often visit You Tube, had not seen her Netflix special, Nanette, and would never have been tempted to go to this “rally” if not dragged there by Sharon who assured me, I would not regret the evening.

Regret the evening? Are you kidding me!?! Ms Gadsby was a revelation. So much more than a comic, she is a dynamic observer of our times, a historian with a great take on how we all got to this place we occupy. She is the embodiment of Mort Sahl coupled with Lenny Bruce on steroids. In her current incarnation (a one-woman performance called Douglas after her dog of the same name) she is funny, poignant, and genius-level brilliant. She brings her audience to laughter and to tears with equal alacrity and her politics on sexism, racism and nationalism are dead on. Douglas is the best show in Manhattan and there is not a chorus girl in sight.

Before this show, there is/was a Hanna Gadsby Netflix special (the aforementioned Nanette). I will see it when I get home from this latest trip. I urge you to see it even without seeing it myself… that is how much I trust this unique and fabulous performer.

The runners up: Heidi Schreck wrote and stars in What the Constitution Means to Me. Two of my NY pals saw this in a Matinee and then went to Douglas in the evening for what had to be the best day in Manhattan ever. Schreck’s play is terrific and she is a wonderful performer as well.

Toni Stone is a touching, bright, and sometimes humorous look at the first (there were eventually three) female baseball player in the Negro League during the 30’s and 40’s. It is a great way to get yourself educated on some worthy, but little-known history of what it is like to be black in white America.

Finally…. On that subject…I was fortunate enough to be invited to a reading of a new musical play, based on the life of Louis Armstrong, which will debut in Miami Beach at the Colony Theatre next March. It’s a Wonderful World is well on its way to becoming a wonderful hit. While you wait for it… turn on Nanette on Netflix.

Barney Rosenzweig

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