Friday, July 15, 2016

Laundry Room Theatre Reviews


There’s an old man in my apartment complex who I usually meet when I’m in the laundry room.  His name is Jeff and he’s very hard of hearing so my side of the conversations tend to be extremely loud.    The topic is always the same: Broadway and Off-Broadway shows. Because I learned early on in my nine years here that Jeff has been a theatre-goer since a child, as have I, the subject is always “Have you seen _____?"

Just outside the laundry room one morning in a loud voice I agreed with his favorable review of “Therese Raquin.”  I think my neighbors with their windows open might have heard my own review of the acting, the script, the sets and the music.  Despite a less-than-stellar New York Times review, both Jeff and I agreed it was a marvelous show.

Although Jeff uses a cane, it doesn’t stop him from getting on the bus sometimes three days a week for the ride into Manhattan.   Jeff once told me that he used to review shows for broadcast at Lincoln Center.  Or was it that he read newspaper reviews for recordings? Regardless, Jeff knows his theatre.

I will never be able to match the number of shows he sees each year (although I have sixteen binders of Playbills dating back to 1952),  it is nice to chat and share opinions.

Jeff’s wife works at my public library but I hadn’t met her until a few weeks ago when she overheard me telling someone where I lived.  When I mentioned to her how much I enjoyed meeting Jeff in the laundry room and sharing theatre experiences, she remarked, humorously (I hope), that I’d better not get any ideas!  No, lady, not to worry!

By chance I happened to see Jeff at Lincoln Center recently when I was there for "The King and I."  Jeff said he was there to work. But please don't mention this accidental meeting if you're in the library.